Warning – seriously controversial subject matter ahead!
Are they scones (to rhyme with bones) or scones (to rhyme with bons)? The debate rages on through the generations. I grew up with two opposing views – Mum said it was scones (like bons) and Dad said it was scones (like bones). I tend to agree with the latter, purely because of the spelling but then that’s never a guarantee of anything in the wonderful world of the English language, is it?
To me, scones – however they’re pronounced – mean cream tea and cream tea brings back many fond memories of childhood holidays in Cornwall. We went almost every year during my childhood and even now, at 42, Cornwall still holds a special place in my heart – although now I live across the river in Devon where they do the jam and cream “the wrong way round”!
To be honest, I’ve been toying and experimenting with this for a while wanting to create a scone recipe of my own and I’ve finally got there with a little pinch of inspiration from another of my recipes!
Cream teas were always a favourite and we always had at least one during our week in Cornwall every year but I’ve found, as you often do with nostalgic food items, that an integral part of them is just not as good as I remember – the scones! They are one of those foods that are quite dry and just want to stick themselves to the roof of your mouth. And this is kind of the point of the cream tea – the jam and cream alleviate these things and the whole thing together becomes delicious, but I still wondered if I could make a lighter and slightly moister scones with a touch of cinnamon and ginger.
We got there but they’ve taken a while to perfect – my original inspiration came from the tea loaf in my new e-book which involves soaking raisins and sultanas in hot strong tea to rehydrate and plump them, as well as giving the tea flavour to the loaf. I wondered if I might transfer this technique to the dried fruit for the scones. We tried it and they were nice but you just didn’t taste any of the spices because of the tea, which also seemed to give a slightly dark overall flavour. So, after experiments with strong tea, weak tea and in the middle tea I thought why not try just hot water instead, and it worked! The cinnamon, ginger and lemon zest are more than enough to give a lovely hint of spice to the sultanas and plump them up and they, in turn, release a bit of flavour and liquid into the scones during baking to make pretty much exactly the texture I had in mind!
If I do say so myself these scones work an absolute treat for a cream tea – my concern was the cinnamon and ginger wouldn’t go with cream and jam but it all works perfectly together, adding a bit of intrigue to the traditional cream tea! They’re also good on their own with or without a bit of butter, and obviously with a good strong cup of tea!
It might seem like a cream tea is something you go out to have somewhere nice rather than having at home but we have found out over the last couple of weeks of testing and perfecting this recipe that actually it’s just as good in your own living room or garden as anywhere else – it’s been a hard job eating a few of them but someone had to do it so I could share it with you guys!
You know how around October people start asking what you would like for Christmas? Well, last year we were starting up the blog so we were smart. We asked for bits that were missing from our kitchen kit essentials. One thing on the list was a decent set of pastry/cookie cutters like this set– it had never really occurred how basic a thing we were missing! For these scones I used the one that’s about 6cm- they’re not very wide but they rise because of the baking powder which gives you a nice tall scone – perfect for cream teas!
So why not have a go yourselves– I’m sure the family won’t object if you announce that you’re doing an impromptu cream tea one afternoon! Let me know what you thought of the recipe and feel free to tag me in any pictures of your scones or homemade cream teas on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Enjoy DDx.Print
Spiced fruit scones
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 24 scones 1x
Deliciously light and moist scones with sultanas lightly spiced with ginger and cinnamon – perfect for a cream tea!
For the scones
- 700 g self-raising flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 170 g unsalted butter, from the fridge and cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 350 ml milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
For the spiced fruit:
- 200 g sultanas
- 1 lemon, zested
- 200 ml freshly boiled water
- 1 teaspoons ginger
- 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Stir the cinnamon, ginger and lemon zest into the freshly boiled water. Add the sultanas, mix together well and cover with cling film. Leave to soak
- Preheat the oven to 220°C / fan 200°C / 425°F.
- Put the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large bowl and mix. Add the butter and rub into the flour with your fingertips until you have a mixture resembling fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the caster and light brown sugars.
- Put the milk in a small saucepan and heat very gently until just warmed. Add the vanilla extract, stir and remove from the heat.
- Put 2 baking sheets or trays in the hot oven.
- Make a well in the dry mix. Add the sultanas and the milk mixture. Use a table knife to stir it, combining very roughly – it will seem pretty sticky and wet at this point.
- Dust a clean work surface with quite a bit of flour and tip the scone dough out onto it. Flour your hands and work the dough a little bit with your hands until it becomes a bit smoother – DONT BE AFRAID TO USE MORE FLOUR IF IT IS STILL TOO STICKY TO WORK WITH.
- Roll the dough out so it is about 4cm thick and then use a medium cutter (about 6cm) to cut out scones. You may need to fold up and re-roll the dough a couple of times but keep going until the dough is all used.
- Brush all the scones liberally with the beaten egg, then remove the hot baking trays from the oven and lay the scones out on them.
- Return the trays to the oven and bake the scones for about 10-15 minutes until they have risen and are lightly golden.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes (plus overnight soaking of fruit)
- Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
September 8, 2022 at 16:00
Hi hazel I like these I might try them
Sam Kieran’s brother
September 9, 2022 at 15:22
Hope you’re well! Thank you – they are very yummy indeed with some clotted cream and jam! I’m sure mum and dad would enjoy them too. DDx