Tuesday, July 21, 2009


There are many many things about the summer months that I look forward to. BBQs, all day beaching, french cricket, greedy picnics, late orange sunsets and early morning sunrise.

Bizarrely, the best things about summer all seem to begin with the letter F:

Festivals (yes, I have just splashed out on my 5th Bestival ticket...ouch),
Fetes ( Brook Green on the Isle of Wight holds a delightful get-together with steam train rides, willow hut weaving, fresh strawbs and Irish jigs),
Feet (BARE is best),
and rather essentially: FOOD.

Just last week, I was lucky enough to indulge in my first cream tea of the summer. When I say indulge, I mean it...

Two large scones, a pot of tea, a larger than life dollop of
clotted cream,
fresh strawberries and delicious jam.

Sounds rather like something out of Mary Poppins...

It was all so twee being presented with pretty cakes and colourful pottery, that the celestial sounds of birdsong and the tinkle tinkle feet of Morris dancers drowned out the vicious grumbles blasting out from the over-stuffed stomach below. Only until the second to last sip of tea did I realise that getting off my seat might become a bit of an issue.

On the roll home, luckily all downhill, I thought to myself, perhaps I shouldn't have given in to such a large scone? With one round cream and jam filled loveliness sat in front of you, it is so easy to gobble it in one go, rather than taking your time over lots of little bites...

I know it is awful to say but maybe they would be easier to digest if just a fraction smaller?

SACRILEGE, I hear you cry?

Well, I certainly found it difficult to finish scone number one, let alone start on numero dos. But, truthfully, who wants just one scone? We would feel so much lighter if we were to eat the same amount but in smaller portions, non? And with the same amount of dough you can get more for your money. Bite-sized deliciousness, and endless fun spreading layer after layer of cream then jam then strawberry. Into the mouth they go, with no effort at all!
Here goes...

ALL PURPOSE SMALL SCONES ( the normal recipe for large but with 3cm scone cutter)

200g/8oz self raising flour
1/2 level teaspoon salt
50g/2oz butter
125ml/1/4 pint milk
Extra milk for brushing.

1. Sift flour and salt into bowl
2. Rub in butter finely
3. Add milk all at once. Mix to soft , but not sticky, dough with knife
4.Turn onto lightly flowered bowl. Knead quickly until smooth
5. Roll out to about 1cm/1/2 in thick.
6. Cut into around 20 rounds with 2cm biscuit cutter (serrated edge)
7. Transfer to butter baking tray and brush the tops with milk
8. Bake towards top of hot oven (230 degrees C/ 450 degrees F/ Gas mark 8) for 7 mins (or until well risen and golden brown)
9. Cool on wire rack.
10. Gobble. Share if you must.

Serve with delicious strawberry jam - for homemade recipes try Jo Pratt's version - but for laziness you can't beat Bonne Maman, bursting with fruit and with such beautiful packaging (Watch this space for blog on jam recipes soon!). Clotted cream is best but you can whip up some double cream which is just as satisfying, and more fluffy if that's your kind of cream tea. Fresh strawberries are at their best at the moment, and a scone without these is no scone at all.

A pot of tea and dainty little tea cups (egg cups if you want to carry on down the miniature route) and a cliche red gingham table cloth will do the trick.

Afterwards, why not take a dip in the river to cool off from the summer heatwave? Spiffing!


  1. love your blog and wow adore scones miss this i live in the US

  2. There seems to be quite a craze for cream teas this summer!

    A delicious homemade scone, strawberry jam and lashings of clotted cream - it just epitomises summer doesn't it?

    I went down the indulgent route and had champagne with mine...

  3. Why not! Scones are a great excuse for a long and indulgent afternoon tea!
    I made savoury cheese scones yesterday - Put together in the same way but add 150g mature cheddar into the mix and sprinkle the final product with grated cheese before popping them in the oven. Serve with homemade chutney - fab alternative to the sweet version!