Thursday, 5 July 2012

A Cream Tea



After all that fruit picking, jam making and requests for scone recipes it's no great surprise that I wanted to make a Cream Tea. I think I am trying to will sunshine to come to us by doing as much summertime baking/eating/activity as possible. Here is England we had the wettest June on record and so far July has not been much better. We are a waterlogged and sun-starved nation at the moment.


Thank you so much for the scone suggestions. I was recommended Mary Berry's recipe by lots of people (you can find it easily online) and also Jooles's recipe from her blog Sew Sweet Violet. Scones were baked, topped with jam and cream and eaten. Thanks also for the jam suggestions - mint or basil with strawberry sound heavenly; subtle and refreshing herb flavours that are just perfect for summer fruit jams. My first foray into scone making went well - they were light and spongey and fluffy and not at all like the heavy, dry ones I buy from the supermarket. I found the dough very wet though - I'm not sure if that is normal or my error, but I feel emboldened by my success and will have another go!

For those who don't know, a Cream Tea consists of a scone spit in two, topped with clotted cream and strawberry jam, and served with a cup of tea. It is a originally a West Country tradition and something I associate with summer, probably because of all the summer holidays I've had in Devon and Cornwall over the years. My research (backed up by my blogging friend Margaret who knows about these things) tells me that a Devon Cream Tea is a scone with cream then jam, and in Cornwall it is a scone (or sometimes a "Cornish split", a type of sweet bread roll) topped with jam then cream. The cream must be clotted (a very, very thick and gloopy double/heavy cream that you have to spoon out of the tub) and the jam must be strawberry. Another variation, which I've never had but I just love it's name, is "thunder and lightening", which is a scone topped with cream then golden syrup or black treacle instead of jam. I assume the name refers to the contrast of the dark treacle on the white cream...how evocative! Ok, lesson over. I love learning about food traditions and why certain things are eaten a certain way. I personally have no preference on how it is served, I just want to eat it, and eat it I did, two so far today, and I even got the teapot out and everything.



24 comments:

Karen said...

Put the kettle on - will be round in a few minutes! They look heavenly. I always do jam then cream because I like the way the cream oozes out! Lush x

Jenny said...

These photos are making me hungry! I had no idea there were differents types of "Teas" you could have and that switching up the jam/cream order changed the name. How fascinating!

p.s. I'm jealous of your tablecloth.

Lx @ Twelve said...

They look scrumptious!

Lx

Anonymous said...

i think you table cloth is really pretty too. we are making scones today....it's that sort of weather. xo

Julia said...

This looks delicious! What a wonderful English tradition. I think I will try this soon...I love scones and tea and the clotted cream sounds divine! I really hope Summer returns to England soon! Seriously I would not mind your weather right now as it is so hot and humid here. It has been between 95-100 degrees for the past two weeks and only cooling to the low 80's at night. Yuck! That's Summer in the south.

Run Lori Run said...

Gorgeous! I have yet to start canning this season, need to make myself some jam as well ~ yours looks delish!

galant said...

The look good enough to eat, har, har! Do you know, in all my married life I have never made jam? I one made lemon curd, and it was OK, but a bit of a faff. I love baking, but I've never progressed to jam making. I find that the best jam, my very favourite, is from Lidl!!! Not expensive Bonne Maman of Tiptree, but Lidl! Their raspberry and their blackcurrant jam is wonderful, nice and sharp, which is how I like jam. I know it's traditional to have strawberry jam on scones for a cream tea, but I still prefer the acidity of raspberry or blackcurrant.
Margaret P

Gillian said...

I like to spread the cream on then do jam, the Devonshire way apparently. You'd be so welcome for a cuppa! If you're ever in Leeds...

Gillian said...

Jenny, neither did I until a few days ago! Only the English would get this territorial over some cake. I want to try Strawberry Shortcake, which I think is sort of your American version of this. (tablecloth is from Cath Kidston) x

Gillian said...

They were. Tasting them was a hard job but someone's got to do it.

Gillian said...

Does that mean it's hot or cold? If it's sunnier in Australia than it is here then I am very jealous.

Gillian said...

Wow, that is hot! Ok, it is humid here, but nothing like as uncomfortable as that. I hope you have air conditioning!

Gillian said...

Thank you, it was tasty. Eaten loads already though - need to save some for winter!

Gillian said...

I have never made lemon curd but I really like eating it. I've been told it's easy to make but some people's definitions of "easy" differ from others. Never tried Lidl jam, but I will bear that in mind! (My Dad like sharp jams, and prefers raspberry jam on his scones too).

Monica said...

they came out great!

i always forget which county does it which way, but i'll remember now as we're moving to devon and we like it the devon way! lol

ah.... clotted cream.............

Jo said...

They look scrumptious and are making my mouth water.

Andrea @ little buckles said...

They look great! Scones only get better the more you make them. I made scones for our french neighbours. They had no idea what to do with them and thought it utterly bizarre adding more butter then jam and cream. They loved it though :)

Col @ Hello Olive said...

Ooh Gillian, that looks delicious! Such pretty photos too. I've only ever made scones once but now I'm motivated to try it again. Yum! x

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

Yum! Seriously, YUM! And well done on the scone baking initiation ... I think the dough is meant to be quite sticky.

I am now craving a cream tea for breakfast!

Gillian said...

Monica, I have made and eaten more scones today...I am out of control! And expanding by the day. Clotted cream will be my downfall.

Gillian said...

Oh good, thank you!

Gillian said...

I made another batch this morning to take to a picnic. This batch were less scary but I think I am rolling the dough out too thin as I always get too many from the recipe! Love the idea of your French neighbours being baffled by our strange (but delicious) British food traditions. x

Gillian said...

Oh thanks for the photo comment - I always think my photos are rubbish, so it's nice to hear you say otherwise! :-) *happy*

Gillian said...

Someone else reassured me today that scone dough is sticky, so phew! I was expecting it to feel like pastry, but no. Cream tea for breakfast - now there's an idea...!