I am not sure there is much better combination than a cream tea – warm scone (without fruit for me), a huge dollop of clotted cream topped by some strawberry jam. Even better for me is that you get a pot of tea so you can add your own milk … I am super fussy with tea and hate more than a tiny dash of milk – that’s not super fussy where I tut and drink over-milky tea. Oh no, it is ruined for me if it starts to go thick with milk. Yuck.
Anyway, enough about my tea habits (well, just one thing – hot water onto the teabag, add the dash of milk, briefly stir then teabag out if you are ever making one for me). The point of this post is actually about the delights of a cream tea, following the ones I treated myself to whilst on holiday last week.
I was actually away visiting family first in Somerset and then Wales, but ended up taking several jaunts to Dorset and Devon. Our first trip was to Dartmouth in Devon where we had a gorgeous lunch of fresh crab sandwiches on the quayside, followed by my first cream tea of the holiday after a little wander to Dartmouth Castle.
Cream then jam or jam then cream?
Well, in case you don’t know, a Devonshire cream tea is warm scone, broken in half and topped with clotted cream and then jam. That’s how I do it, but the Cornish cream tea is supposed to be a halved scone firstly buttered, then jammed, then creamed. That’s probably a bit too much fat even for me, so I’ll stick to the Devonshire way … although maybe I should give it a try in the interests of research …!
My extensive research of the subject (via all-knowing Wikipedia) has introduced me to my new must-try “Thunder and Lightning” – bread topped with clotted cream and golden syrup (or honey or treacle, but it will be golden syrup for me!). I am going to have to give it a go when I manage to work off the excesses of last week’s holiday. My mum told me that yorkshire pudding with clotted cream and golden syrup was a favourite of hers when she was younger, and I can quite imagine getting addicted to that combination as well.
225g self raising flour, a pinch of salt, 55g butter, 25g caster sugar, 150mls milk plus a little extra to brush the top of the scones with
Simply rub the butter into the flour until your mixture resembles breadcrumbs and add the salt and sugar. Add the milk to form a soft dough, and try to handle the mixture as little as possible while you flatten it to an inch thick. Cut rounds using a pastry cutter to the size you want the scones to be (I like to make them quite small), taking care not to twist as you cut, as apparently that makes the scones rise unevenly. Brush with a little milk (or egg wash, although I find that is a waste of an egg if you aren’t doing lots of extra baking at the same time to use the whole thing) and bake them for around 12-15 minutes at 220 degrees.
Serve warm spread with a large dollop of clotted cream and a spoon of jam. Perfection on a plate … if you can stop at just one.
I also had clotted cream with gooseberry tart while in Portland Bill in Dorset, and I will be serving it on the side of some rhubarb Welsh bakestone cakes I am planning for my upcoming welsh feast. It is also gorgeous with treacle tart. However, in Sherbourne they did do things differently with a Sherbourne Stodger. I had to try it, and it turned out to be a kind of fruit bread with cherries mixed in, served with Dorset salty butter and Dorset jam. I preferred it without the jam and now need to source a recipe so that I can recreate it at home. I would probably work with a quick dab of clotted cream as well!