Fall not only means a return to serious cooking but also a return to afternoon tea! There is nothing in the world I enjoy more that to stop around 4 o'clock for a quick cup of tea and a cookie. But my favorite part of the whole tea thing has to be the scones and when I have weekend guests at the lake, whether they drink tea or not, they are always treated to scones on Saturday afternoon. There's a great recipe for scones in the country blog but I thought I would try this recipe from the London Telegraph which has sour cream added to the batter. The only thing I detected was they were a tad moister, perhaps less crumbly, but just as great as the others. Anyway, a great excuse to make a batch.. They are giving the strawberries away so take advantage of it!
Would you believe I also have some clotted cream in the refrigerator? The Real McCoy!!!
Makes 10 scones and enough jam for six people for tea
350g (12oz) strawberries
75g (2¾oz) granulated sugar
juice of ½ lemon
For the scones
225g (8oz) plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp salt
45g (1½oz) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
2 tbsp caster sugar*
200ml (7fl oz) sour cream
milk for glazing
clotted cream or butter, to serve
Wash and hull the berries, chop them into chunks (leave small ones whole) and put in a pan with the sugar and lemon juice. Set over a medium heat and help the sugar to melt by stirring from time to time until it has dissolved. Roughly mash the fruit with a fork or potato masher. You want to end up with a mixture that is part purée, part chunks of fruit. The fruit will be in quite a lot of syrup at this stage, so turn the heat down very low and leave to simmer until thickened. In all, it will take 20 to 25 minutes to make.
Be careful not to let the pan burn. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool. It doesn’t set like jam but becomes a thick, chunky, fresh-tasting purée. To make the scones, sift the flour with the bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl, then rub in the butter with your fingers. Make a well in the centre and add the sugar and enough sour cream to make a soft but not too sticky dough. Start bringing the mixture together with a blunt knife, then use your hands.
Pat or roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1.5-2cm (½-¾in) thick. Using a 5cm (2in) cookie cutter stamp out rounds and lay them on a floured baking-sheet. Brush the tops with milk. Bake for about 10 minutes in an oven preheated to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 for 10 minutes or until risen and golden. Leave to cool a little.
Serve warm with clotted cream or butter and the jam
*caster sugar is superfine sugar. Just use regular sugar here in the States, it's fine enough!
Photos/recipe The Telegraph