i wish we had tea in the u.s. i’m not talking about a cup of chamomile, i’m talking about afternoon tea. with crumpets and scones and cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off. our fast-paced culture lends itself to an on-the-go espresso much better than it does to a sit-down afternoon meal, but i think it’s something we should start doing.
a “cream tea” — tea taken with scones, clotted cream, and jam — is a form of afternoon tea thought to have originated in the county of devonshire, england. the devonshire method is to split a scone in half, spread it with cream, and top with strawberry jam.
devonshire (clotted) cream is traditionally made by heating milk, letting it cool slowly, then skimming off the clots of cream that rise to the surface. i didn’t want to wait that long, so i made a mock version using heavy cream and greek yogurt.
scone recipe adapted from alice’s tea cup
- 3 cups flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, cold and cut into small pieces
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1/4 heavy cream (for brushing)
- 1/4 sugar (for sprinkling)
- jam, for serving
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
preheat the oven to 425º and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. dump in the cold butter and work it in with your hands, mixing it until the mixture has the consistency of large breadcrumbs. make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in the buttermilk and vanilla. mix with your hands until incorporated (it will be very sticky). mix in the chocolate chips. turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and, with floured hands, pat into a large rectangle. using a large knife, cut the rectangle into 12 wedges. transfer them to the baking sheets. bake each sheet for 12 minutes, or until lightly browned.
for the devonshire cream, whip the heavy cream until it forms soft peaks. fold in the powdered sugar, greek yogurt, and vanilla. chill until serving.
serve the scones warm spread with the devonshire cream and jam.