Watching the Queen having tea with Paddington inspired me to make some scones. Alan Bennett might have written about the Queen’s proclivity for a good book in “The Uncommon Reader,” but surely she was having tea and scones while reading, or perhaps pulling out her marmalade sandwich. I always wondered what she kept in her purse; the best part of her tête-à-tête. with Paddington was the big reveal of the marmalade sandwich. What a lovely respite from news of war, shootings, and virus the Queen’s Jubilee gave us.
Tea and scones, and a good book – here are recipes for both.
Unremarkable Books I’ve Read Lately To Pass The Time:
- Rosie Walsh’s The Love of My Life
- Monica Ali’s Love Marriage
- Julia Quinn’s The Bridgertons – the whole series
Reading Now – B.F. Shapiro’s Metropolis
Looking Forward To Reading Soon:
- Ruth Ware’s The It Girl
- Lisa Jewell’s The Family Remains
- Tom Perotta’s Tracy Flick Can’t Win
- Geraldine Brooks’ Horse
- Kimberly Brock’s The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare
- Jane Shemitt’s The Patient
- Julia Glass’s Vigil Harbor
- Jean Hanff Korlitz’s The Latecomer
- Christina Soontornvat’s The Last Mapmaker
- Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
And from Ron Charles recommendations in the Washington Post:
- Xochitl Gonzalez’s Olga Dies Dreaming
- Michelle Huneven’s Search
- Claire Keegan’s Small Things Like These
As for the scone recipe, I found this easy one in the New York Times:
Ingredients: 2 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon sugar (increase to 1/4 cup if you want a sweet scone), 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, 1 1/4 cups of heavy whipping cream
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and position a rack in the top third of the oven. Thoroughly combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of this mixture, add 1 1/4 cups of cream and stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a fork. Work quickly, stirring as little as possible, until a soft, shaggy dough forms. Add more cream, a tablespoon at a time, if the dough seems too dry.
- Use a large serving spoon or cup measure to drop the batter onto an ungreased baking sheet, allowing at least 2 inches between each scone. Brush the top of each with heavy cream and bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
And from NPR, a note to be sure to eat your scones properly:
“The grocery store Sainsbury’s showed a photo with a fruit scone smothered in cream and jam. The problem: the photo showed jam on top of the cream. Customers in Cornwall argued the jam must go first…Some Brits take their afternoon tea very seriously. That’s landed the grocery store Sainsbury’s in trouble. They put up a picture with a fruit scone smothered in cream and jam. That is normal. The problem is the photo showed the jam on top of the cream. In the county of Cornwall where the picture went up, customers were outraged. They argued that jam must go first. Sainsbury’s admitted its mistake, saying it has all scone wrong.”
You can eat your marmalade sandwich anyway you like, but for a proper marmalade sandwich:
” It must be made of the best marmalade you can find and fresh-sliced bread. (Paddington likes the chipped Seville orange marmalade, with chunks of pith in, but not everyone does.) Homemade ingredients are best, of course, with plenty of marmalade between two thick slices of bread.”
What the queen carries in her handbag has long been a source for much speculation. Maybe just a handkerchief???
I’ve never encountered a scone recipe which has cream in the mix – the fat normally comes from using butter. Definitely take care not to overwork the mix though, if you do the scones will be rather tough instead of light and fluffy
Thanks. I did remember to not overwork the dough and the cream made them light and fluffy.
Excellent, I shall let my dad know (he was a professional baker so I grew up surrounded by cakes)