Sunday 17th Juillet 2011
Dimanche 17 Juillet 2011 ~ Ste Charlotte
|Devon Cream Tea with Fresh Scones, Cream and Strawberry Jam|
Sunday Tea Party!
Devon Cream Tea with Strawberry Jam
Sunday afternoons are made for cream teas, the sort where you dust off your best china, liberate your posh teapot and make fresh scones that are served with cream and home-made strawberry jam. I like to set the scene with freshly starched linen, pretty glassware and antique silver spoons…….serve tea when Sunday lunch is a distant memory and work on Monday has been put to one side until much later on in the day, I’d say 4pm is an ideal time.
|Fresh scones with cream and jam|
I always have a few jars of home-made strawberry jam tucked away in the pantry and tea on Sunday is the perfect opportunity to open a new pot ~ and if there is any left, then I will have some with toast for breakfast. Fresh scones are so easy to rustle up and all you need to make sure is that you have some cream and fresh butter to hand, as well as some good loose tea, Ceylon is good, but a quality blended tea such as Yorkshire tea will also fit the bill.
Today I am treating you to TWO recipes, scones and jam, the scones are based on an old Be-Ro recipe and the jam is an old family recipe – and one that I always use when I am lucky enough to have enough strawberries to jam! Firstly, here is my wonderful ruby red and glistening strawberry jam recipe……..
Traditional Devon Cream Tea Strawberry Jam – Strawberry Conserve
A fabulous recipe for a soft set strawberry jam, or rather a strawberry conserve, where most of the fruit remains whole and is suspended in a delicious strawberry flavoured jammy syrup. This conserve reminds me of the traditional Cream Teas you get in the West country of England – especially Devon and Cornwall; a pot of tea served with fluffy fresh scones, butter, thick cream and this strawberry conserve. (Preparation time includes the 2 days allowed for the fruit to stand in the sugar.) This type of jam recipe is also very French, they tend to have a softer set jam here in France – it is lovely to see WHOLE pieces of fruit on your toast or scones. I also use this for steamed puddings – absolutely divine!
- 2 lbs (900g) small strawberries, left whole or 2 lbs (900g) large strawberries, halved
- 2 lbs (900g) sugar or 2 lbs (900g) preserving sugar
- 1 lemon, juice of
Place alternate layers of cleaned and hulled strawberries with the sugar into a non metallic bowl; add the lemon juice, but only if you are NOT using the preserving sugar, cover and leave to stand overnight.
Next day, transfer the fruit and sugar to a pan, bring slowly to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour back into the bowl, cover and leave again for another day.
Finally, transfer to a preserving pan, bring to the boil and simmer until setting point is reached – this takes about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little until the conserve JUST starts to set, this takes about 15 minutes. Stir once more to distribute the fruit evenly and pour into prepared hot sterilised jars and cover immediately.
Makes about 3 lb of conserve.
Only add the lemon juice if you are using normal granulated sugar and NOT preserving sugar, which contains pectin already.
|Whole fruits sitting in a ruby red jelly!|
Next, a wonderful old recipe, a classic – Be-Ro scones, fruited or plain, you choose! This is my default recipe for scones, a recipe that my mum uses as well as her mother before her, my maternal grandmother.
Traditional English Tea Time Scones
Eat these hot, split & spread with fresh churned butter, fresh cream and homemade jam, preferably strawberry……..not forgetting to lick your fingers afterwards – discreetly! These always made an appearance on my Mum and Grandmother’s Afternoon Tea Table….it’s simply expected my dear! You can also add dried fruit to these to make traditional fruit scones, such as sultanas, currants and raisins; I have added that option in the recipe. The traditional English Cream Tea is very popular in the South West of England, especially in Devon and Cornwall – there you will be offered a pot of tea with fluffy warm scones, butter, cream and strawberry jam. In Devon, you will be served double Devon cream and in Cornwall, you will be offered clotted cream – that’s the main difference.
- 8 ounces (200g) self-raising flour
- salt, to taste
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar ( superfine granulated)
- 2 ounces (50g) butter
- 1 egg, beaten and mixed with
- 1/4 pint (150ml) milk
- fresh double cream or clotted cream, to serve ( heavy cream)
- jam, of your choice
- butter, to spread
- 2 ounces sultanas, raisins (optional) or 2 ounces currants (optional)
- Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl and add the sugar and butter.
- Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Gradually mix in the egg and milk mixture to make a dough, saving any excess to glaze the tops of the scones. Add your fruit at this stage if using.
- Gently knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface until smooth.
- Roll out the dough to about 1/2″ thick, then cut out 2″ rounds with a plain or fluted cutter, kneading and re-rolling the dough until it is all used up.
- Arrange scones on baking sheets then brush tops with the milk and egg mixture.
- Bake in the oven at 230°C (450°F) mark 8 for 10 to 15 minutes, until well risen and lightly golden. Cool on a wire rack.
- Whip the fresh cream until stiff. Split the scones and fill with butter, jam and fresh cream.