What a beautiful morning! The sun is shining through every window and I can hear the birds outside! It’s a bit unusual though because my house is eerily quiet and I’m the only one home this morning. It’s just me and the dog.
I must say the peace is heavenly…..
O.K. ….two really important things are happening today…
First, it’s my friend’s birthday. Happy Birthday girl! She lives in London, England and is currently roaming the streets of Italy with another friend of ours. I am so
jealous, envious, HAPPY for them! They will be eating great food and drinking great wine. Cheers to you my friend, have a wonderful day.
Second, I made Clotted Cream yesterday and am feeling all smug and proud of myself. It’s a cross between butter and whipped cream. I sometimes buy English Double Devon as a treat for myself but it is hard to find and costly. My girlfriend and I had a Cream Tea on one of my last nights in England a few years ago and it was “lovely’ as she says. Homemade scones piled high with Clotted Cream and preserves, and of course a cup of tea. Delish. How appropriate that I made it the day before her birthday then. And here I sit, birthday morning, thinking of my friend, eating one of these goodies with the homemade preserves I made here.
The Clotted Cream is ridiculously easy. Almost embarrassing frankly, for my inflated ego at the moment. Use the heaviest whipping cream you can find, with a high fat content (mine was 35%). Pour 4 cups into a heavy-bottomed oven safe pan. Cover and place in the oven at 180° and leave it for 12 hours. Untouched. Done. No kidding. Remove after 12 hours (try not to slosh the cream during transport) and allow to cool for about an hour. Place in the fridge over night and tah-dah! When you wake, there will be a glorious, thick layer of clotted cream on top. Skim off with a slotted spoon and put in a jar. Use on scones, pancakes, muffins, etc. The remaining heavy cream can still be used for baking. Shamelessly easy, but still feelin smug.
The scones are Buttermilk Scones from Nigella Lawson. These are not sweet which makes them a perfect fit for cream and preserves. So easy to make and I made them this morning in under 1/2 hour. One of the reasons scones tend to be so dry is because they are baked far too long. Twelve minutes is all that’s needed. Once the scones are dry on the bottom, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Nigella Lawson’s Buttermilk Scones
- 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons soft vegetable shortening
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 1 egg, beaten, for an egg wash (optional)
- 1 large lipped baking sheet or half sheet pan
- 1 (2-inch) biscuit cutter, preferably fluted
Preheat the oven to 425° and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
1. Put the flour into a bowl with the baking soda, cream of tartar, and sugar. Chop the butter and the vegetable shortening into pieces and drop them into the flour. Rub the fats into the flour – or just mix any old how – and then pour in the buttermilk, working everything together to form a dough.
2..Lightly flour your work surface. Pat the dough into a round-edged oblong about 1 3/4 inches thick and cut out 2-inch scones with a biscuit cutter. (Mine are never a uniform height, as I only pat the dough into its shape without worrying whether it’s irregular or not.)
3. Arrange the scones fairly close together on your lined baking sheet, and brush with beaten egg (to give golden tops) or not as you wish.
4. Bake for 12 minutes, by which time the scones will be dry on the bottom and have a relatively light feel. Remove them to a wire rack to cool, and serve with clotted cream and your favourite jam.