I’m not British, so afternoon tea isn’t part of my culture. But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a nice cup and some delightful cream scones. These turned out beautifully! Cream of the crop if I may say so myself.
Pun intended. I made a healthier alteration and substituted the heavy cream for light coconut milk, mostly because I had an opened can in the fridge and also because I was curious to see if they’d turn out well. And so they did, so very well.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2-3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3 ounces, 3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream, very cold (OR equal amount of light coconut milk. This is what I used and they turned out great!)
Preheat an oven to 425°F (220°C).
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Whisk to combine, then chill in the freezer while you proceed.
Cut the butter into small dice, then chill it as well.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly flour a work surface. Assemble a food processor fitted with the metal blade, or get out a large bowl, a pastry cutter and spatula.
Put the dry ingredients into the bowl of the food processor, pulse a few times to lighten. If doing by hand, whisk or fork the flour mixture to aerate. In the processor, remove the cover and evenly distribute the cubed butter over the flour mixture. Replace the cover, and use short, quick pulses to bring the mixture to something that resembles an uneven meal.
If by hand, toss the butter into the flour, then use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter into irregular, pea-sized chunks.
With the processor, add about half of the cream then pulse a few times. Add three-quarters of what’s left, and pulse maybe three times more. Remove the cover and take a look – the dough should be crumbly and light, but if you pick up some and squeeze it in your hand, it should stick together. If it does, stop. If it doesn’t, keep adding a few drops of cream, pulsing once or twice, then checking again. Don’t worry if you don’t use all the cream.
If working by hand, it is much the same process, but using a spatula to fold and turn the dough to incorporate the liquid. Again, judicious is best with the cream, you don’t want a soggy dough.
Turn the dough out onto the floured work surface and knead, gently and lightly, until the dough is fully together; you should still see dots of butter here and there. Pat the dough out into a rough round, and dust with a bit of flour.
Divide the dough into three, and shape each ball of dough into a 4″ round about 3/4″-1″ thick, cut each round into four wedges. Or, using a whatever you have on hand to make round shapes, I used a tall glass, cut out rounds. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake the scones in the preheated oven until lightly golden at the edges and dry on their cut sides, around 12-15 minutes. The tops should be puffed and they will feel light for their size. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack set over another baking sheet. Sprinkle liberally with sugar and cool for at least 5 minutes before serving. Gobble ’em up!
I served them with some nice lemon curd. And butter…