From the Heart

heart_shaped_puerh_1A tea without scones is like a meal without a fork!

Ahh, the scone… is there anything more quintessentially British than this heavenly pastry. So, just for a moment think about a traditional afternoon tea which consists of dainty sandwiches, scones served with clotted cream and preserves.  Elegant cakes and pastries as well as exotic teas perhaps from India or Sri Lanka, being poured from silver tea pots into delicate bone china tea cups.  Quite the picture huh. Now this picture… afternoon tea – just a biscuit and a mug of tea, usually produced from a teabag. Sacrilege!!! But I’m straying off scones.

When you come to think of it, a scone is such an innocuous little thing, plain really in comparison to a mile -high iced cupcake or the latest trend – a macaron. But it seems illogical to not like a scone. It’s undoubtedly the best pastry available. Just think of all its merits; it is handheld, is very easy to take on the go and can be consumed at any point during the day. Breakfast? What a great way to start the morning. Brunch? A true staple of the mid-morning meal. Lunch? Why not. Mid-afternoon snack? Dinner? Hey, no one’s going to judge that at all. Dessert? Phenomenal. And of course, ALWAYS with a cup of tea.

But scones are among the pastry family’s most frequently abused members. I must say on many, many, many occasions, I have been served something masquerading as a scone, but in my vocabulary, I refer to these impostors as, “hockey pucks.”  A good scone is hard to find – they need to be light and fresh. The perfect scone is tender, moist, flaky and an airy confection.  But, on the other hand, biting into a scone should not release a shower of crumbs onto your clothing or the tablecloth, but neither should you have to do any serious chewing. And freshly baked scones should taste good even without the layers of butter, thick clotted cream and strawberry jam. But I must admit I’m a devoted and dedicated clotted cream and jam person.

So, in the end, whether you call it a “skon’” or a “scone”, little can top this tea-time accompaniment, hot out of the oven. With its burnished golden top and light, fluffy interior and then topped with a good dollop of cream and a smear of jam, it’s a glorious, pillowy delight! The famous, Scottish poet Robert Burns once said…”souple scones were the wale of food” — wale meaning simply “the best.” And I totally agree with him.

P.S. I do know where you can enjoy the BEST scones in the world.

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