Friday, June 26, 2009

Scones and Strawberry Jam for Afternoon Tea

This recipe and photo comes from Laundry, etc. I read her blog as often as she publishes and long to own all of her books. She is an amazing English woman! I can't say enough good things about her recipes and her blog!


All homemade - scones, clotted cream and strawberry and vanilla jam

fruit that is as fresh as possible and just ripe or very slightly under
ripe with no bad bits or discolouration. This jam is relatively low in
sugar resulting in a soft set and strawberries also have a low pectin
content, which is the ingredient needed for jam to set. Adding lemon
juice, which is high in pectin, helps boost the pectin content. Make
sure that jam jars and lids are clean and dry and sterilise by placing
them in a warm oven for 20 minutes and always pour hot jam into hot
jars, never cold. Those cellophane circles and elastic bands used as
jam jar lids are all well and good and a lovely traditional touch, but
screw-on lids are much more practical.

Makes 1.4kg

1 kg strawberries
1 vanilla pod
750g sugar
juice of 3 lemons

wash the fruit unless you really must and do so with the stalks in
place taking care not to bruise the berries then dry the fruit
thoroughly. Remove the stalks then cut large fruits in half and leave
smaller fruits whole.
Place the fruit in a bowl, split the vanilla pod in half lengthways
and scrape out the seeds from the middle then add the seeds and pod
pieces to the strawberries, tucking the pod in amongst the fruit. Tip
the sugar over the top to cover the strawberries and leave, covered
with a plate or a tea towel, for approximately 12 hours by which time
the juices from the fruit will have oozed out into the sugar.
the contents of the bowl into a preserving pan and add the lemon juice.
Heat slowly stirring gently now and again until you are sure that the
sugar is completely dissolved and so that the fruit stays intact. Bring
to a rolling boil and after 10 minutes test for setting point. Keep
testing at 5 minute intervals as necessary till setting point is
Take off the heat and remove the vanilla pod pieces. Leave
the jam to cool for 10 minutes, stir to distribute the fruit then pour
into hot jars, filling the jars right to the top. Place a greaseproof
paper circle on the top, seal with a screw-top lid and leave till cold
with the jars inverted.

The best scones come
together really fast. Here sour cream is used to make them extra moist
and rich but you can substitute buttermilk,mascarpone , yogurt or just
milk mixed with the egg, really whatever you have handy at the time.
Soured milk was traditionally used for scone making.
Makes about 10 scones

225g self-raising flour
pinch of salt
75g butter
30g caster sugar
1 egg
3 tbsp sour cream

Pre heat the oven to 220C (425F) Mk7

the flour and salt into a bowl. Cut the butter into pieces and rub it
into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar.
Beat the egg with the sour cream and add it to the mixture, keeping a
tiny amount back for brushing on the scones and working quickly with a
fork to form a dough which is soft but not sticky. Bring the mixture
together with floured hands and press it onto a floured surface so it
is about 2.5cm thick.
Cut out scones with a 5cm diameter cutter and
place them onto a greased baking tray. Pull the dough offcuts together
again and cut to make more scones. Brush the tops with the last of the
egg mixture and bake for 10-15 minutes until they are risen and just
starting to turn golden. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

When the scones are cold, split them and serve filled with clotted cream and strawberry and vanilla jam.

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