It is Saturday afternoon, it is 4 degrees, the sun is shining and I can see the snow-capped Coast mountains through my open window. The crisp February air is mingling with the warm scent of baking from the oven. It's 3 o'clock. Time for some afternoon tea.
I have made these scones ever since and have always been pleased with the delicious results. I think it's the buttermilk that makes them so special. Unlike some scones I have eaten since living in North America, these taste and feel more like Australian scones - they are light, moist and most importantly, they are fluffy.
Scones, which originated in Scotland, are little round cakes that go by the name of 'biscuits' in North America. In England and Australia, they are usually served in tea houses where they are eaten with clotted cream and jam. This is known as a Devonshire Tea or Cream Tea.
My jam of choice is Bonne Maman. I usually get raspberry but this time in my haste, I grabbed the cherry and didn't realise until I bit into the scone. But this was one of those good mistakes.
Buttermilk Scone Recipe
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
3 tsp of baking powder
1/4 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of salt
4 tbsp of chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup of buttermilk, with a little extra for brushing
1.5 cups of whipping cream
Bonne Maman Cherry Jam to serve
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add the butter to the bowl and rub it with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs of different sizes but none larger than a pea.
- With a wooden spoon, stir in the buttermilk until the dough comes together.
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface and then knead it gently 2 or 3 times. Roll the dough out so that it's about 1 inch thick. Using a 1.5 inch round cutter, push straight down through the dough but don't twist the cutter.
- Place the scone on to a Baking sheet lined with lightly greased baking paper. Repeat steps until you have cut out all the scones.
- Brush the scones with extra buttermilk and bake for about15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
- Meanwhile, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Cover and chill in the fridge.
- Once the scones are ready, break them in half and then spoon on some jam and whipped cream.