After making Pride and Prejudice a pint-sized fashion statement earlier this week, I wanted to pair the same Jane Austen classic with a delicious treat. From the moment the idea popped into my head, I knew where this was going.
It had to be scones.
You could pair any of Austen’s books with tea and scones, but there’s something about prim and proper Mr. Darcy and Lizzie with all those sisters that screams “Let them eat scones!”
In America we tend to be more liberal in our use of the word scone and their composition. I’d never turn down an orange or blueberry scone at a coffee shop, but for Elizabeth, Darcy, and the rest of the crew at Longbourn and Pemberley, I had to go more classic.
Growing up, my mom made us heart-shaped cream scones almost every year for Valentine’s Day. More like a sweet, American-style biscuit, she topped them with strawberry preserves and whipped cream. As the years went on, and she started working with a British woman transplanted to Nebraska, she introduced clotted cream in place of the whipped topping. This was also the way our hostesses served us tea and scones when I was in England a decade ago.
My friends, if you’ve never tried clotted cream, you must. I’m not sure this is a scientifically accurate description, but it’s basically a cross between butter and whipped cream. And it’s heaven. Finding clotted cream in the stores can be a little tricky, but I picked up the Devonshire Cream for this dish at World Market.
I also rocked our family’s tradition and opted for a red raspberry preserve instead of strawberry. I’m sure the Bennets, and maybe even Darcy himself, would approve of using either.
For my version of these scones, I used a sifter and pastry cutter. You can skip the sifting step if you like (I appreciate the way it lightens up the dough) and use a fork and knife in lieu of the pastry cutter.
2 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup milk
Clotted cream and preserves to top
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking pan with parchment paper or non-stick spray.
Sift two cups of all-purpose flour into a mixing bowl. Add 4 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Cut in 6 tablespoons of room temperature butter using a pastry cutter or fork and knife until though dough is crumbly. Stir in 2/3 cup of milk without over-mixing.
Sprinkle flour over a flat surface and roll dough until it is about 1/2 an inch thick. Using a 2-1/2 inch biscuit cutter, form 12 scones and place on the pan. Make an egg wash by combining 1 egg with 2 tablespoons of water. Brush wash over the tops of the scones. This will give them a gold color while baking.
Place the pan in the oven and bake for 13-15 minutes. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes, and then slice and top with clotted cream and preserves. Serve warm or cooled.