Northeast Times

Traditional English Scones

Whip up a batch of scones, and watch your fam­ily make them dis­ap­pear.

The burn­ing ques­tion this week on the minds of mil­lions of Amer­ic­ans across the United States is, “What will hap­pen to Lady Mary now that her be­loved Mat­thew is gone?”

At the time of this writ­ing, the Down­ton Ab­bey web­site pos­ted the count­down of 3 days, 11 minutes, 12 seconds un­til the first epis­ode of Sea­son 4 be­gins in Amer­ica on Sunday even­ing.  If you missed it this Sunday, don’t worry. Next Sunday, the saga con­tin­ues. Of course, since the show airs months earli­er in the UK, it was pos­sible to view these “new” epis­odes on the In­ter­net. However, I chose to wait to sa­vor every second of the sea­son, week after week. No spoil­er alerts for me!

I wasn’t al­ways a Down­ton Ab­bey fan, but after hear­ing all the chat­ter and be­ing in­und­ated with all things Down­ton Ab­bey, I de­cided to check it out. Sure enough, be­fore the un­flap­pable, im­pec­cable but­ler, Mr. Car­son, had closed the door to High­clere Castle, I was hooked. It drew me in so much that I went on a mara­thon binge view­ing of all sea­sons to date, and have been vis­it­ing the Earl and Count­ess of Grantham and their fam­ily faith­fully since that aus­pi­cious day.

Wheth­er fol­low­ing the lives of the up­stairs ar­is­to­crats or the ser­vants and maids down­stairs, every­one has a story to tell, and all of the char­ac­ters are in­triguing. Wheth­er it’s Sher­lock Holmes, Monty Py­thon, James Bond, Harry Pot­ter or Down­ton Ab­bey, those Brits sure do know how to en­ter­tain us with great fun.

And the food! How lovely! Up­stairs, the food is put to­geth­er by an his­tor­ic­al cook who shows prop­er, au­then­t­ic cuisine as it would have been served and eaten by the very wealthy at that time. Down­stairs, the ser­vants’ food is more like what we would eat today: toast, tea, shep­herd’s pie, chick­en and stews. Could view­ing all those good­ies have had a little to do with my in­terest in DA? Quite pos­sibly! A good bit of the ac­tion does take place in the kit­chen. Who could res­ist all those treats cooked by Mrs. Pat­more and Daisy?

Put the kettle on! It’s time for a cuppa and a catch­up! Along with that prop­er cup of tea, scones are in or­der. De­li­cious warm, just out of the oven, and quite eas­ily made, the fol­low­ing scone re­cipe will trans­port you right in­to the gra­cious home of Lord and Lady Grantham. Like the show it­self, sa­vor every last morsel of these de­light­ful scones, be­cause they will be gone be­fore you know it! I’ve heard that these scones are a fa­vor­ite of Vi­ol­et Craw­ley, the Dow­ager Count­ess of Grantham.

SCONES

2 cups flour

3 tsp. bak­ing powder

1/3 cup sug­ar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. or­ange zest (very finely grated or­ange rind)

4 Tbls. cold but­ter cut in­to chunks

2 eggs, beaten (Save 1 Tb­sp. egg white to brush on top)

1/3 cup heavy cream

2 Tb­sp. sug­ar (Prefer­ably coarse)

-Pre­heat the oven to 400 de­grees. 

-In a large bowl, com­bine flour, bak­ing powder, sug­ar, salt and or­ange zest.  

-Cut the but­ter chunks in­to the flour mix­ture us­ing a fork, two knives, pastry cut­ter, food pro­cessor or your fin­gers so tiny bits of but­ter re­main mixed in­to the flour. 

-In a small bowl, beat eggs slightly with cream, and stir in­to flour mix­ture.

-Turn dough out onto a lightly floured sur­face and knead slightly, only un­til dough sticks to­geth­er.

-Di­vide dough in two parts.

-On an un­greased bak­ing sheet, form and pat each clump of dough in­to a circle that is 6 inches in dia­met­er and 1-inch thick.

BE­FORE BAK­ING: 

-Cut each circle in­to 4 wedges on bak­ing sheet; sep­ar­ate wedges slightly.

-Brush top of scones lightly with the re­served egg white.

-Sprinkle top with sug­ar.

-Bake for 15 minutes.

-Makes 8 scones.

Serve scones with but­ter, jam, honey, clot­ted cream or lem­on curd. Also good is Or­ange But­ter: ½ cup softened but­ter beaten to­geth­er with 2 Tbls. or­ange marmalade.  

Cheerio!

Eat well, live long, en­joy!

(Ques­tions or tips can be sent to Donna Zit­ter Bor­de­lon at Whats­cook­in­NEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the North­east Times, 2512 Met­ro­pol­it­an Drive, Tre­vose, PA 19053.)

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