We love having cream tea on a rainy sunday afternoon. Nothing tastes better than home made scones! I recently discovered a great secret making scones an even more attractive recipe. The scones puff up more when you rest the dough in the fridge for a couple of hours.
This means you can make the dough an evening in advance, take it out of the fridge, make scone shapes and place them in your oven. Now just enjoy those lovely scents filling your house as you make tea and take out your favorite jams and fresh fruit!
Scones (8 – 10)
225 grams plain white flour
1 tsp baking powder
25 grams caster sugar
50 grams butter at room temperature
150 ml buttermilk (optional: add some vanilla essence to the buttermilk)
1 egg, beaten, or coffee cream, for brushing or dusting
Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
Rub your butter in the flour mixture untill you have a bread crumb consistency.
Stir in the buttermilk combine your dough into a ball.
This is the kind of dough you want to handle as little as possible.
Wrap your dough in kling film and let it rest in your fridge from 1 hour to 24 hours. Whatever works with your schedule. This does enable you to plan ahead if you are making an elaborate high tea.
Preheat your oven at 220 degrees C.
Roll out your dough on a floured surface. I like to make a circular disk, about 1,5 cm thick and slice 8 scones with a sharp knife as shown in the picture.
Place your scones on a baking tray lined with baking parchment.
For golden and glossy scones, brush your scones with egg or coffee cream.
You can sprinkle your scones with sugar for a crusty top.
Bake your scones for 15 to twenty minutes or untill they are puffed up and golden brown.
Let your scones cool for at least ten minutes before digging in. This may be the hardest part of the recipe!
As a mother that works 36 hours a week I like to think ahead. Making soups or sauces in the evenings, ready to warm up for dinner the next day, is a real time saver. I like serving homemade food, and by storing my creations properly I can feed my troops quickly.
Once my homemade food is packaged in a smart way, it can also be taken to work or on a picnic on the beach or in the park. This prevents us from buying greasy snacks, although we give in to our cravings every niw and then!
People often ask me how I manage this, upcycling jars is a big part of the answer. Here are my five ideas for storing and transporting in jam jars:
Use jars to store your home made jams, jelly’s, lemon curd or mayo.
Mix your favorite salad dressing inside a jar. Just add all ingredients, close and shake! I like making our Ceasar salad dressing this way.
One jam jar holds 1 (cold) soup serving, for a healthy lunch or afternoon snack! (like this my gourgette soup recipe, good warm or cold)
Label your jars! This way you know what’s in them and when you made them. I use pretty labels when I plan on giving the jam away. That brings me to another perk of using a jar, unlike an (expensive) plastic container, I never worry about getting the container back from my friends….
For my birthday this year I organised a high tea. I received many compliments for the entire spread. It did take me a whole day to prepare for it, but it was delicious! This is a list of the food I made, and some tips.
Omelet rolls: Mix up eggs, finely sliced chives and some cream to make the egg mix. Fry thin omelets. Let the omelets cool and spread out cream cheese, cover with ham. Roll the omelet up. Wrap your omelet roll in cling film. You can make the rolls 1 to 2 days in advance. For serving, slice and serve these lovely pinwheels.
Fruit punch: Peel and slice your favorite fruits. Make sure you have various colors. Add some fruit juice. Cool your punch and serve it in dainty glasses.
Mini chocolate mousse: Make your favorite mousse recipe and serve in shot glasses or little jam jars. I garnished them with dried cranberries.
Small cups of vichyssoise soup: This simple cold soup is made with potato, onion and leek. I served it in small glasses with a teaspoon of greek yoghurt and some chives.
Scones: My most important tips: don’t knead your dough, rub to combine the flower, sugar and butter, then stir to combine using milk or buttermilk. Wrap your dough in cling film and let it cool for up to 24 hours (in your fridge). This way you can work ahead. Take your dough from the fridge and cut your scone shape quickly then bake right away. Cooling and resting your dough gives you the lightest scones you ever had!
For those who don’t live in the UK: use mascarpone instead of clotted cream.
Savory pies: Using puff pastry line a muffin mold. Fill each cup with ham, peas, cheese. Fill the cups up with eggs and cream. Bake for 20 mins at 220 degrees C.
Pizza squares: Make a large pizza a day before. Warm it up in a 160 degrees C oven for 20 minutes. Cut your pizza into squares and serve.
Cut candy bars into bite size chunks for inexpensive little treats.
Serve with tea, coffee and white wine
For a relaxed party:
Make sure you prepare well in advance and make lists.
Find recipes you can prepare 1 or 2 days in advance that take little assembling.
Ballance hot, cold, sweet and savory dishes.
Don’t try complicated recipes for the first time.
Make sure you have enough refridgerator space.
Make sure you have enough oven space.
Make sure you have enough china. Buy teacups and saucers at your local thrift shop or lend them from friends and family.
Use some disposable plates and cups, for less washing up.