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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

English Scones

If you've ever met me, you know that I'm a bit of an anglophile. So much so that I even married a most charming Englishman.  How can you read your way through their rich literary history and not fall in love with that beautiful, rainy, green countryside or the bustling streets of London? Don't even get me started on Hogwarts.

For my husband's birthday, someone gave him a jar of clotted cream. This was something I'd only ever read about in books, so I was excited to be able to give it a try. And on what does one put clotted cream? Why, scones, of course.

Traditional English scones are a bit different from what we're used to seeing in our American coffee shop pastry cases. They're not triangular, but round, and actually look a lot like biscuits. Scones are a bit heavier, however. They're still buttery, but they definitely benefit from a lovely cup of tea and a big dollop of Hobbitesque jam. Preferably made from gorgeous fat berries picked from your own idyllic English garden.

Now, clotted cream was a bit of a surprise. The name makes it seem like it might be similar to cottage cheese, but it's actually completely smooth and extremely thick. It can't be drizzled or even dolloped. It's almost as thick as cream cheese and basically tastes like plain heavy cream. I wouldn't eat it by itself, but paired with the raspberry jam, it gave a wonderful creamy quality to the whole experience that was simply delightful.

By the way, don't ever ask a British person if they want biscuits and gravy for breakfast without properly interpreting. They will give you a look of horror and think you're about to feed them cookies with brown beef gravy, which I have no doubt would be ever bit as disgusting as it sounds. Just stick with the fresh baked scones with jam and clotted cream, or cream cheese if you can't get the import. Get yourself a cup of tea, turn on Downton Abbey, and you're golden. English treatsies like no other.

*Photos by Monica Szczupider

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