Devonshire Tea, also known as Cream Tea, is deeply embedded in Australian afternoon tea culture.
Some sources reveal that scones have been around since the 1500's, with Scotland being the original maker of these delicious breads. Those of us with a British, Scottish or Irish heritage probably enjoyed our first warm freshly baked scone with home made jam and thick cream (with a cup of milky tea), at our grandparents house as children.
We are keeping this delicious Australian tea time family tradition going with this guide to putting on your own Devonshire Tea at home! The main thing to remember here is to keep it simple.
You do not need fancy tea ware to put on a nice afternoon tea. You only need your favourite tea and a few staple items to make scones.
You can even make a batch of this scone recipe and freeze them ready for unexpected guests!
You might think that the tea choice doesn't matter, but there are some basic food pairing rules that should be considered when choosing tea for your scones. Here are the teas we recently served with our Devonshire Tea and why:
ENGLISH BREAKFAST is a full bodied tea, traditionally blended to replace ale as the morning bevereage. Blended to be stronger in flavour and tanin, it is able to take milk and to cut through hevier foods such as bread and cream.
EARL GREY is made with a Ceylon tea base, making it lighter in strength yet strong enough in flavour to accompany the scone with cream. Earl Grey has the addition of bergamot oil, giving a fresh citrus flavour to the tea. Citrus pairs well with berries (the jam).
As always, tea is best seved pre-strained to avoid bitterness when sharing a larger teapot, but can be strained by the guest to their liking if using one person teapots. Please follow the brewing instructions on the tea label to ensure the best cup of tea!
Our scone recipe is adapted from the book 'Cookery the Australian Way' 2nd edition, 1974. Very few ingredients are needed for this recipe, making them easy to throw together in a pinch. Bakers tip: scones should be baked on a high shelf in the oven, on high heat to get a nice crust. This is a foundation scone recipe, one which can be added to if you would like to make flavoured scones in the future like dates or cheese and onion for example.
Here is our adapted recipe:
Temp: 220 C
2 cups SR triple sifted flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tb spoon unsalted butter
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp natural vanilla essence
1. Pre-heat oven
2. Sift flour and salt into a bowl.
3. Rub butter into flour and salt using fingertips
4. Mix into a soft dough with milk and vanilla essence
5. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until just combined and smooth
6. Roll out the dough to approx 2 cm thick and cut shapes using a round cookie cutter
7. Arrange on the tray (the further apart, the crustier the outer will be) and glaze with milk
8. Place above the middle tray in the oven and bake for approx 12 mins or until a light golden brown colour
9. Lift onto cake cooler
THE RASPBERRY JAM
Want to make your own jam? Follow the recipe below - you only need two ingredients!
500g raspberries (fresh of frozen)
2 cups of sugar
1. Put raspberries in a pan over a low heat and mash until the pulp begins to boil
2. Slowly begin adding the sugar to the pulp mixture by pouring in a steady stream as you continuously stir the mixture until it has boiled for around another 3 minutes
3. Cool before bottling
And of course, serve with thickened cream! (Stay tuned for a future recipe on making clotted cream)
We hope you enjoy using these recipes and tea preparing tips. Devonshire tea really is one of the most fuss-free ways to spend time with the family over the weekend.
Put the kettle on and enjoy the moment!