It will be too wasteful if I don’t eat scones every day with this baby on hand, right?
With my pint of homemade clotted cream and the strawberry rhubarb compote I made from the last post, I feel the mission to find the best plain British scone recipe. Luckily it didn’t take long. The first one I made is from National Trust Book of Scones: Delicious Recipes and Odd Crumbs of History (yes, I bought a book only about scone. That’s how obsession works.). The plain scone recipe calls for lard, which isn’t a usual ingredient in America. I grew up eating lard with my scallion pancake, so I wasn’t afraid of its taste. But I don’t like it in scones. So pass.
The second recipe I tried is from a Japanese cookbook that’s pretty popular in China. To my surprise, the author specifically says to knead the dough for 50 times, which most western recipes warn you not to overwork your dough. I did what the recipe asked and the scone is too dense for my taste. The author said it’s her version of scones, so I respect that. But I personally won’t let the gluten develop this much in scones.
And then I found my perfect fit, for a traditional British scone anyway. The recipe is from BBC and I should have tried it earlier. Besides self-rising flour, the recipe adds 1 tsp of baking powder. And it makes the fluffiest scone. It’s exactly like the ones I had in the UK, with fancy teapots, clotted cream and good jam for high tea. It’s really easy to make and BBC even has a video showing you how to make it. Can things be any better?
After I finished my clotted cream and strawberry rhubarb compote, I am still obsessed with scones. So I turned my direction to American scones and tried two recipes. One is from Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life and it’s okay, not my favorite. My favorite goes to Kate Wood’s Jam Filled Scones on her blog. It basically combines everything I love about a British scone. Jam, cream and scone.
I used Ayako & Family’s China Red Plum Jam, a local brand I really love. It’s not too sweet and actually a little tart, which pairs perfectly with the cream scone. Any other details about the Jam Filled Scones will be listed below in the recipe report. I figured it has been a while since I did one. So here you have it.
Jam-Filled Scones Recipe Report
1. 2-1/2 cups (325 gm) all-purpose flour
2. 3 tablespoons sugar
3. 1 tablespoon baking powder
4. ¾ teaspoon salt
5. ½ cup (113 gm) unsalted butter, cold and cut into chunks
6. ¾ cup (180 gm) heavy whipping cream, cold, plus more for brushing
7. 1 large egg, cold
8. 1 teaspoon vanilla
9. ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons jam of choice
10. 3 tablespoons coarse sugar, if desired
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Use a pastry cutter or the back of two forks to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until pea-sized clumps are present throughout and the butter is well integrated. In a separate bowl, whisk the whipping cream, egg, and vanilla together.
3. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together until a shaggy dough forms. Dump the mixture out onto the counter and knead together just until a dry dough forms. You can add an additional 1-2 tablespoons of cream if your dough won’t come together at all.
4. Working quickly, divide the dough in two and pat each half into flat 8” dough rounds (see notes). Place one round of dough on a baking sheet and spread the jam evenly over top of it, leaving a ¾’ border around the perimeter of the dough. Place the second round on top and pinch the edges together to seal the jam inside. Brush the scones with a thin layer of cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.
5. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops and sides are golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before cutting to let the jam set. Cut into 8 equal slices and serve warm.
OBSERVATIONS & NOTES:
1. Kate’s note on how to create two identical dough: line an 8” cake pan with plastic wrap and pat each half of dough into the bottom to create perfect circles. This isn’t necessary but will help to keep your scones uniform. I half the recipe and used a 6” cake pan instead. It creates 6 smaller pieces of scones, which is perfect for me.
2. I don’t have a pastry cutter, so I used a fork to cut the butter into dry ingredients and it worked perfectly fine.
3. As I mentioned, I used a not so sweet jam. And I think it’s important not to use an overly sweet jam – rhubarb/plum jams will be the perfect match. I love the scone itself contains not only butter, but also whipping cream. However, it can be a bit too much if you don’t have a nice tart jam to balance out the flavor. So choose wisely!