Pure Heaven Made in Devon

 There are numerous advantages that come with being from the Westcountry; not least the proprietary air one is justified in feeling whenever Bill Bailey performs (Westcountry born and bred), the Yeo Valley adverts (advertising and produce at its best-http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=oTrG7mpb61U or the equally brilliant rap:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zokQDSttfOk&feature=player_detailpage ), Cider, Clotted Cream, Pasties and the infamous Devon Cream Tea. True the stereotype that comes along with being from Devon requires a certain amount of tolerance; most folk are fairly surprised to learn that I am in fact under 70, that I do not surf, that I have never risen at dawn to milk cows in the mist, and that I do not speak like Samwise Gamgee. I do however, merrily endorse the stereotype in many ways; I love clotted cream and all things dairy based, I drink nothing but cider all summer long, and I make the best scones in the world. 

I know that sounds immodest, but I do not pertain to have many distinguishing qualities; I have goofy teeth, excessively chubby cheeks, mousy hair, and I could do with losing a stone or two- but I really do make wonderful scones. It has taken me years to perfect the technique, and I think it’s time I shared it with you. They are the one thing I know I can rustle up in 5 minutes and they’ll be delicious every time, not because I am a genius, but because the recipe is brilliant. Two essentials though; they must be eaten warm from the oven if you want to enjoy them at their best, and they must be eaten with raspberry jam (strawberry is too saccharine for me) and clotted cream.

Another word on scones- I know some like raisins or sultanas or whatever other embellishments; I even have a recipe for Black Treacle scones which are lovely, but these fall under an entirely different category. A sultana speckled scone is a “Fat Rascal”, and is supposed to be eaten with just butter or maybe butter and jam. If you really like your scones with fruit in then just add a handful of raisins or sultanas to this recipe, but I think they are best kept unadulterated; there are many other occasions for sultanas – fruit cake, welsh cakes and tea cakes to name but a few. Recipes for these will no doubt follow in time….

Devon Scones

Makes 6 medium-small scones, double the recipe of you like them big and generous

250g self-raising flour

45g unsalted butter

50g caster sugar

Pinch salt

1 egg and ¼ pint milk, mixed

Preheat the oven to 180 and line a flat baking tray with paper. Put the flour in a bowl with the salt, then rub in the butter with your fingertips until it looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar. Pour in the liquid stirring gently with a wooden spoon. It should come together as a soft-ish dough- not dry and not sticky. Add a splash more milk if necessary. Bring it together lightly with your hands, and turn it onto a lightly floured board/kitchen surface. Pat it together very gently- the trick to feather light scones is very gentle treatment- DO NOT treat it roughly or your scones will be tough. Pat it down until it’s about an inch and a half thick, then cut out the scones with your cutter of choice. Using a cutter you should always flour it before you cut, and make sure you press straight down, NO twisting or the scones rise unevenly. Then brush the tops of the scones with milk and put them on the tray. Put in the oven and check them after 15 minutes. They should be golden and cooked through, but may need another 5 mins depending on your oven. Eat warm with raspberry jam, clotted cream and a pot of tea. Nothing says love like a Cream Tea.



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4 responses to “Pure Heaven Made in Devon

  1. Adele


    I found your blog, just by chance, a long time ago (in internet terms:)) and had taken down this recipe and then (being the procrastinator that I am) shelved it.
    It’s now several months later and since I was feeling a bit fluey today, I thought I’d whip myself up a bit of scrummy comfort.

    I just have a question. We do get self raising flour here in India, but I’ve never used it. Is it the only way to go? Or would baking powder work as well?
    I also read in your ‘about’ that you love Indian food, so if you ever make a trip to India, do visit! Would love to show you around Bombay.


  2. Adele

    Oooh! Also, we don’t get clotted cream here obv. But I remember it from a visit to Somerset years ago. I’ve found some how-to’s online. Do you recommend any particular recipe? We do get very good raw, full fat milk at the local dairy.

    Another question (I seem to be full of them): Does humidity affect the scone dough? Should I try and make this in an air conditioned room? The monsoon’s in full-swing, so it’s very damp out.

    Thanks and I love the blog!

    • Hi Adele!
      Thanks for the message-glad to hear you like the blog!
      I’ll try to answer all of your questions…
      If you can’t get self-raising flour plain flour will work fine, just add 1 teaspoon of baking powder to every 110g of flour. About 4 for this recipe should be fine. The humidity shouldn’t affect them too much, just make sure the butter is cool when you rub it in so it donesn’t just melt and turn into a mess! Also as long as you work quickly it should be fine.
      Clotted cream can be made at home, i’ve never tried it myself, as raw milk is very hard to get in England- i’d love to try- you’re lucky to have access to it! However, i know a few basic rules about making it- first the cream has to be skimmed off the milk, after it’s left to settle the cream should rise to the top and you can spoon it off. Then the cream is either baked in a VERY gentle oven in big shallow pans until the magical golden crust forms, or it’s warmed and then left again in a cool place overnight, then the “clout” is skimmed off the top….
      All rather complicated! I suggest if you cant face doing all this you could use either whipped cream, or make your own fresh butter, to have on the scones with jam-which will be delicious!
      You can make the butter by whipping the cream until it separates and forms a yellow butter solid. Then dry it off, pressing the buttermilk out (you can use this for more scones!) Beat in slat if you like salted butter and voila!
      Anyway i hope this is helpful-good luck baking!
      I’d love to come back to India-i went to Delhi once and absolutely loved it-the food was amazing and the people so friendly!
      Maybe i’ll have to come and visit you and smuggle through some clotted cream!

  3. Adele

    Thanks so much for all of this! I might just try making clotted cream, just this once, to see how I do. I will have at the scones this weekend. Can’t wait 🙂

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