Wednesday, February 20, 2008

On tea and scones

I was reading about the rise of small dairy farms that make artisanal treats "like crème fraîche, butter, buttermilk, ice cream, puddings, custards, yogurt, yogurt-based sauces and yogurt drinks" ("The Dairies Are Half-Pint, but the Flavor Isn’t") in The New York Times this morning. My grandpa was a dairy farmer in upstate New York, and so I feel some kind of affinity to them. The article reminded me that I had some leftover cream in the fridge - just Guidas, but hey. Actually, there are some people here at school that organize fresh milk purchases from a local dairy. Maybe I'll try it soon. Anyway, I only had 1/3 cup of cream so I had to cut the recipe down to 1/4 its size. That made two scones, just enough for breakfast.

When I worked at the tea shop two summers ago, Polly gave me this recipe for scones. I would make them in the morning and go to work trying not to eat them all in the car. I loved putting them out with the cakes and tarts, savoring the secret that those plump, little scones - uneven, toppling, creamy scones - were actually my work. I probably ate at least one from every batch I made.

These are not the steroidal, sugar-coated monster scones that abound in megaplex bookstores, but they taste so much better. They're pretty unassuming, and I like it that way. I think of them like that French term for women who aren't classically beautiful, but have an interesting face, une jolie-laide. That's kind of an awful way of putting it. But, there's hope for us all in these scones. Funny looking on the outside; pure joy on the inside. I like to eat them with strawberry jelly and Earl Grey tea.

Polly's Scones:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. I'm so bad at doing this! Do it!

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/3 cup heavy cream

Sift together the dry ingredients. Then add the cream and mix it in. Knead the dough on a hard surface for a short while, and then spread it out so it's about 1 and 1/2 inches high. Cut scones with a 2 inch round pastry cutter. Put them on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes or until they're golden on top.

Polly's recipe also recommends that you enjoy them in bed with clotted cream, jam and the Sunday Times.


Lena said...

I just made these tonight, and they're delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

Leah said...

Thank you, Lena! I'm so glad they turned out well for you.