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.