Time for Cream Tea

Cream Tea

The cream tea is quintessentially English. What could be better on a Sunday afternoon than a pot of tea accompanied by freshly-baked scones, strawberry jam, and clotted cream? And the beauty of if it that scones are so quick and easy to make, you could go and make a batch right now and be enjoying your tea in under half an hour!

But as anyone who has followed politics over the last few years knows, there’s an intense rivalry going on in the Southwest over how to eat your scones. Although the cream tea is now widely available throughout the country, it is a regional speciality in both Cornwall and Devon. In the latter, it is known as a Devonshire Tea.

The basic components of any cream tea are:

  • fresh scones
  • clotted cream. Whipped will do in a pinch, but clotted is far superior.
  • jam. Strawberry, although if you prefer raspberry, I won’t tell.
Cream tea.

Photo by www.shaneglobal.com

So what’s the controversy. To steal a phrase from TV, it’s all about “How do you eat yours?”

The Devonshire method is as shown above. Cut the scone in half. Spread clotted cream on each and top with jam. But down in Cornwall, you might add butter, and then the strawberry jam goes on first, followed by the cream.

However you choose to enjoy your cream tea, we won’t judge. Just be sure to indulge. It’s traditional!


8oz self-raising flour

pinch of salt

2 oz butter

2 oz sugar

1/4 pint milk

Make sure your flour is fresh, otherwise your scones won’t rise. If you’re not sure, add a teaspoon of baking powder to be on the safe side.

Preheat the oven to Gas 7 or 220C.

Sift the flour and salt together. Rub the butter into the flour. Then add the sugar and milk to make a soft dough. Roll the dough to about 3/4 inch thickness. Cut into rounds and bake on an ungreased tray for 10 minutes.

Scones freeze well but when they’re this quick to make, who needs to freeze? Serve them with cream and jam or with butter.

Cream tea

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