Scones and Clotted Cream

England: Part 2

Nothing says England like a steaming hot cup of milky tea with scones and clotted cream.
Unfortunately, clotted cream is near impossible to find in the U.S., but there is at least one British store in the West Village that carries the condiment: Meyrs of Keswick. Mark Bittman recently posted his own recipe for scones, which are yes, flat and look very similar to what we in the U.S. call biscuits, but these are definitely authentic and Bittman really knows his scones. To go with my scones, I decided to attempt clotted cream from scratch instead of trekking all the way to the West Village. But anyone with a strong food memory will know how risky it can be to make the foodstuff from scratch. This recipe for clotted cream from joyofbaking.com is a fine substitute for the real thing, but I would suggest using a little less vanilla extract (if any at all), more mascarpone cheese, and being especially careful when whipping everything together because it can easily turn into something like whipped cream.

Recipes: Mark Bittman’s scones
Joy of Baking’s clotted cream

Ingredients
For scones:
2 cups cake flour, more as needed
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
3 tbls. sugar
5 tbls. cold butter, cut into pieces
1 egg
1/2 to 3/4 cup heavy cream, more for brushing.

For clotted cream:
4 ounces mascarpone
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbls. sugar

Preparation
For scones:
1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Put the flour, salt, baking powder and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal.
2. Add the egg and just enough cream to form a slightly sticky dough. If it’s too sticky, add a little flour, but very little; it should still stick a little to your hands.


3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead once or twice, then press it into a 3/4-inch-thick circle and cut into 2-inch rounds with a biscuit cutter or glass. Put the rounds on an ungreased baking sheet. Gently reshape the leftover dough and cut again. Brush the top of each scone with a bit of cream and sprinkle with a little of the remaining sugar.


4. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the scones are a beautiful golden brown. Serve immediately.

For clotted cream:
Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and beat until the mixture holds its shape and looks like softly whipped cream. Use right away or cover and refrigerate the cream until serving time.

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