Spring seems to be tea party season, with all the new blooms and sun and light, breezy dresses. If you’re planning a tea party to celebrate a birthday, a sunny Saturday afternoon, Easter or the upcoming royal wedding everyone is all aflutter about, you’ll need a good recipe for scones. These cream scones are simple but divine, and although they sound utterly rich, they don’t contain butter and eggs, like most scones do. Unlike most scones, you knead the soft dough a few times after stirring cream into flour, baking powder and sugar, then cut them into squares, rounds, wedges or any shape you like. They bake up high and light – perfect for splitting and spreading with butter and jam or clotted cream. It’s a good basic recipe to have in your repertoire any time of year.
There is no simpler method, and they bake up light and airy – very impressive looking on your tea table. Make them small, so that they fit in with the dainties, and people can serve themselves more than one with jam and clotted cream, or butter and honey, or lemon curd. Smaller sized scones are best for junior tea party-goers, too. Use this recipe as a blank canvas: you could add grated lemon or orange zest, cinnamon, currants or raisins, chopped fresh herbs or grated cheese to make all kinds of different scones.
Easy Cream Scones
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
extra cream or milk, for brushing (optional)
coarse sugar, for sprinkling (optional
Preheat the oven to 400F. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the cream and stir just until the dough comes together. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough a few times, then pat out about an inch thick.
Cut into wedges, squares or rounds using a knife, biscuit cutter or glass rim. Transfer onto a parchment-lined baking sheet; if you like, brush the tops with milk or extra cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden. Serve warm.
Makes about 8 scones.