Monday, April 13, 2015

High Tea Survey Results and Recipes...

Well the results are in:

  • There was a lot of support for that last sandwich being egg, so egg it is.
  • Strawberry jam is a must as an option
  • Lots of votes for fruit tarts, esp lemon tarts.

Thank you for all your opinions, which were all considered and informed. They have been a great help. Here as promised are some recipes which I hope you'll try...

Recipe for Scones

This is my fail safe recipe for scones. I first tried it years ago. I was skeptical initially, but they turned out so well and with so little effort that I have never tried another recipe since. The scone mix turns out plain scones, but you can add cheese and herbs to the mix for savoury scones or a pinch of sugar and chopped dates or raisins to make sweet scones.

3 Cups of self raising flour, sifted.
1 Cup of whole cream.
1 Can of lemonade (Sprite or 7up, not old fashioned lemonade).
A pinch of salt.

Pre-heat a fan forced oven to 180 degrees Celsius (390 F) (200C if not a fan oven)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth.
Turn out onto a floured surface. Knead lightly and then flatten dough to about 3cm tall.
Cut with a scone cutter and place on a tray covered with a sheet of greased baking parchment.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until scones are golden brown.
Serve with whipped or clotted cream, and jam.

Recipe for Damson Jam

3 Lb (1.5kg) fresh Damsons
3 Lbs (1.5kg) Sugar
1 Pint (550mls) Water

Wash the damsons and place them in a large saucepan. The stones are hard to remove, so don't bother trying to remove them at the preparation stage, as they will float to the top during the cooking and you can skim them off then.

Ensure you have a decent jam saucepan. The crucial component is a nice thick bottomed pan so that you can ensure the heat is evenly distributed across the pan. Mine is also non-stick (once you have burnt jam once you'll never use a non-stick pan again!).

Add the water and gently simmer. Gentle push on the fruit with a potato masher or similar to help them expel their stones. Skim stones.

Once the mixture has reduced by about half, add the sugar, stirring until fully dissolved. Once fully dissolved bring the mixture to the boil and boil for 10-12 minutes.

Test its ability to set by smearing a small amount on a refrigerated plate and see if it sets. Once it has reached this point remove from the stove and allow to cool. Remove any surface froth with a tea strainer.

Decant into six warm sterilized 1 Lb jars. Cover with wax discs, cellophane, or sterile lids.

Making Clotted Cream

Take several pints of whole cream (unpasteurized or lightly pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized)). The amount is entirely dependent upon how much clotted cream you want to make. Four pints is probably a good starting amount. Pour it into 1 or 2 shallow dishes - the key here is to find a pan with a large surface area. You want the cream to be poured to a height of about 3-5cm in the dish.

Place the dish in an oven and set to 80 degrees C (180F). Leave for 12 hours - I usually do this about 7pm at night so that it is ready in the morning. 

Remove the now clotted and reduced cream from the oven and allow to cool on a bench for half an hour before placing in the fridge to cool for a further couple of hours (until well chilled).

Skim off the clotted cream from the surface. If it has reduced down a lot you may be lucky enough to have mainly clotted cream and very little liquid cream left.

Put in an airtight jar and keep chilled for up to 3 days. Use on scones, or to make delicious clotted cream fudge. Yum! Any left over liquid cream can be used for making pancakes or for the startup culture for sourdough bread.


  1. Hello,

    We are delighted with the Afternoon Tea outcomes. It all promises to look fabulous and taste divine.

    And, thank you for the clotted cream receipt. Alas, we are stuck at the first sentence.......take several pints of whole cream.....for that is a national impossibility here. Cream can come in nasty squirty cans but liquid cream seems as rare as hens' teeth.

    So, there is nothing else for it......we shall just have to pop over the ocean and sample yours!

  2. Dear Jane and Lance, you would be most welcome to stop by if you were every in the neighbourhood (although I realize going to Devon for a Devonshire Cream Tea would probably be much more convenient). Sometimes I think I would like to 'tow' NZ halfway round the world and park it in the middle of the English Channel!

  3. Lord Cowell - been reading your blog wih every moment of free time I have right now - on my phone, iPad, computer between meetings at the office - it's wonderful.
    In reference to this post, what size can of sprite?

    1. A 375ml can of Sprite works well. If the mixture is too runny ensure that it is turned out onto a very well floured surface, and add a little more flour as you kneed it until the consistency is just firm enough to be rolled and cut.


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