Afternoon tea is one of the best British traditions I can think of. I went recently with my friend Marina and it was so much fun. I can't think of a better way to spend a few hours than drinking tea, nibbling on dainty treats, gossiping and people watching!
Cucumber sandwiches and petits fours are great but the main attraction for me is always the currant scones. Slathered with a generous dollop of clotted cream and berry jam - absolute bliss! I struck culinary gold when I was able to get my hands on some fresh clotted cream so of course I had to make these scones. Mmmm...just like in England.
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tbls sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbls cold unsalted butter, cut in to small cubes
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup currants
1 egg yolk + 1 tbls milk to brush the tops of the scones prior to baking
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a half-sheet baking pan with parchment.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add the cold butter to the flour mixture and using a pastry cutter, or your fingers, combine until the butter is about the size of small peas. You want to work quickly so that the butter doesn't start to soften. Stir in the currants.
Make a well in the center of the butter-flour mixture and pour in the milk. Mix together with a rubber spatula until a dough forms and most of the flour has been absorbed. [You don't want to overwork the dough or you'll end up with tough scones.]
On a lightly floured surface knead the dough softly (about 3 times) until the dough is fully incorporated. Pat dough down to about 1/2" thickness and cut out using a 2" round biscuit cutter, placing on parchment lined baking sheet. You can re-knead the scraps and cut more scones.
Brush tops of the scones with the egg yolk and milk mixture. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, until golden brown.
Serve with tons of clotted cream and jam!