Monday, 8 June 2009

A Celebratory Cream Tea

We became the proud owners of a beautiful little black cat yesterday and to celebrate her arrival I decided a champagne cream tea was in order! I've been fancying a cream tea for a while - I think it's the first sign of sunshine that does that...the decadence of spending lazy summer afternoons eating light buttery scones with lashings of jam and cream. Apart from the cream I don't suppose a cream tea is particularly cat-friendly and there wasn't any sunshine to be had yesterday as the rain poured down in torrents. But it was certainly fairly decadent to be sitting around sipping champagne and eating these little beauties!

Now it seems that even something as simple as a cream tea can cause great debate... What flavour jam? What sort of cream? Cream or jam on first? How do you pronounce 'scone'? Fruit scone or plain scone?

Cream teas originated in Devon where it is customary to split a freshly baked scone, cover each half with Devonshire clotted cream and then spoon strawberry jam on top. It has to be a plain scone, proper clotted cream (none of your whipped cream nonsense) and strawberry jam. Sounds about right to me, but with one exception...tradition or not, I like to spread my jam on first and then I can spoon on as much clotted cream as my scone will take. I'd rather have just the one scone with serious artery clogging quantities of cream than two sparsely coated scones.

And so it was that we found ourselves eating cream teas, drinking champagne and feeding the cat clotted cream off a teaspoon on a cold and miserable Sunday afternoon in June.


8oz self raising flour
2oz butter
1oz caster sugar
1 egg
3fl oz milk
2 teaspoons baking powder


Mix the flour and butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs and then add the sugar. Beat the egg, then add the milk to the egg and mix. Add the egg and milk mixture to the dry ingredients slowly and stir to form a soft dough. You might not need all of the egg and milk mixture so don't add it all at once. Kneed lightly and then roll out to around 2cm thickness on a floured work surface. Cut into 5cm rounds and put onto a greased baking tray. Brush the tops with milk and then bake in the oven at between 200C and 220C (depending on your oven) for around 15 minutes or until golden.

Leave to cool slightly and then serve with strawberry jam and clotted cream.

For the record, it's pronounced like gone (not bone)...


  1. Jam first, tick. One greedy rather than 2 meanies, tick. Gorgeous cake stand, tick.

    But rhymes with 'gone'. I think not!

    Friendships have failed on less.....
    Good job we love you so much!

  2. Andrew bought me the cake stand for my may have been a ploy to get me to bake him more cakes!

    Apparently putting the jam on first is the Cornish way of doing things...

  3. I'm agreed, jam first. Trying to spread jam evenly over cream just makes the cream smoosh out all over the place! Nuh uh!

    And it has to be clotted cream and a tonne of it too!


  4. Looks yum and I agree on the pronunciation - its definitely like 'gone' and not 'bone'.
    And can we have a picture of the lovely black cat you were celebrating for :)

  5. The lovely black cat is proving to be a little camera shy...

  6. Lookks delicious! Will make it very soon!

  7. oh i am loving your cake stand... where did you get it? i have been looking for one for ages and all i found was a simple, modern donna hay version - not bad, but not as pretty as yours!

  8. thepassionatecook - my husband bought the cake stand for me from the food section at Selfridges in January. It's lovely and simple and just what I'd been looking for all over the place for ages!

  9. Wonderful scones (gones) and I'm a jam first person too. And your cat is lovely!

  10. I've just returned from Cornwall, and would you believe it? I didn't have a single cream tea :(

    I heard that in Devon it's cream then jam, but it Cornwall it's jam first. I prefer plain scones, pronounced 'scon', with clotted cream and strawberry jam. I might have to make some.

  11. I hope you had chance to make some scones today Lizzie. The place you stayed in Cornwall looks amazing!