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!
Who doesn't love lemon in a cake? Lemon is such a refreshing flavour in dessert that it almost makes it feel less heavy (and less naughty). The sweet tang of the lemon in this Lemon Delicious recipe is beautifully offset by the addition of heavy pouring cream. We suggest enjoying this beautiful dessert while still warm from the oven (as we did).
Tea is by far the best beverage to enjoy with sweet foods; and this time we decided to keep things simple by pairing like with like. In other words, citrus with citrus.
Earl Grey, the black tea which is traditionally scented with oil of bergamot, is highly aromatic, medium in strength and with slight astringency, making it perfect alongside sweets. Earl Grey may be enjoyed with or without milk and should be sipped between bites to refresh the palate.
Our Earl Grey and Lemon Delicious pairing is best served in the quiet of the day, with a book.
70 g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
185 g sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
3 eggs, separated
30 g SR flour
185 ml milk
80 ml lemon juice
icing sugar, to dust
double heavy cream, to serve
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Use a small amount of melted butter to grease a 1.25 litre baking dish (ovenproof ceramic is best).
2. Using an electric beater, beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest in a glass bowl until light and creamy.
3. Gradually ad the egg yolks, beating well after each addition.
4. Fold in the flour and milk alternately to make a smooth but runny batter. Stir in the lemon juice.
5. Whisk the egg whites in a dry bowl until firm peaks form, and with a large metal spoon, fold a third of the whites into the batter. Gently fold the remaining egg whites, being careful not to overmix.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared dish and place into a large roasting tin. Pour enough hot water into the tin (not the mixture!) to come one-third of the way up the side of the dish.
7. Bake for 55 minutes, or until the top of the pudding is golden, risen and firm to the touch. *Keep an eye on the pudding as it cooks- as you can see, we may have left ours in a little long (it was still delicious!).
8. Leave for 5 minutes before serving. This is a good time to begin preparing your tea (see below). Dust with icing sugar and serve with the heavy cream.
PREPARING THE EARL GREY TEA
1. Warm your teapot by pouring freshly boiled water into it and let sit for 1 minute. Discard.
2. Using a metric teaspoon, measure 1 heaped teaspoon (per person) into your favourite teapot.
3. Pour around 250 ml or 1 cup of freshly boiled water (per person) into the teapot. Let the tea leaves infuse for 3-4 minutes, depending on your desired level of strength.
4. Strain the tea into your teacups or mugs.
5. Take your Lemon Delicious, your cup of tea and your current book to the couch. Sip and enjoy!
A$6.95 - A$24.95
Our Earl Grey tea is uplifting and fresh, Black tea leaves from the cool misty tea gardens of Sri Lanka have been delicately scented with oil of bergamot creating a medium bodied and wonderfully fragrant tea.
Brew for a shorter amount of time and add a slice of lemon for a light and refreshing tea, or brew longer and add milk for a robust cup. Earl Grey can be paried beautifully with white fish or citrus desserts and can be cold brewed in summer for a refreshing iced tea.
There is a good reason we married the flavours of banana and chamomile in this recipe - they taste great together!
Have you ever explained the taste of chamomile tea as 'creamy'? Do you add honey to your chamomile tea? Do you smell the dried chamomile flowers and think 'ripe bananas'? This recipe takes traditional banana cake to new levels with overly-sweet ripe bananas and dried chamomile flower.
To really infuse the chamomile flavour into the cake, we need to do more than just add chamomile flower to the mixture. We take the milk in this recipe, add our chamomile flower, simmer in the milk on the stove and let cool in the fridge for an hour before adding to the recipe. We even add the now-soft chamomile flower to the mix!
The result? A wonderful tea-time treat!
Very ripe bananas work best in any banana cake recipe. Our bananas were ripened before being frozen for many weeks, leaving them very soft and very sweet!
125 g unsalted butter, softened
115 g caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
150 mls milk
4 tablespoons of dried Chamomile flowers
250 g SR flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Coconut/nuts for topping
125 g unsalted butter, softened
90 g icing sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1. Start with preparing the chamomile milk. Pour the milk into a small pot, add the chamomile and bring to a simmer. Simmer the chamomile in the milk for approximately 5 minutes. Sit in the fridge until it cools.
2. Preheat the oven to 180 .C. Lightly grease a small cake tin and line with baking paper.
3. Cream the sugar and butter with an electric mixer in a small bowl until light and creamy. Add the beaten eggs slowly, ensuring to mix thoroughly after each addition. Then add the banana and and vanilla and continue to mix until combined.
4. Once the chamomile milk has cooled, dissolve the bicarb soda into the milk. Using a metal spoon, gently fold the sifted flour and cinnamon alternately with the chamomile milk into the mixture. Be sure to add some, or all of the chamomile flower into the mixture. Stir until all the ingredients are just combined and the mixture is smooth. Pour into the prepared tin and smooth with a spatula.
5. Bake for 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean and not sticky. Once cooked, leave the cake in the tin for 10 minutes, than turn out onto a wire rack for cooling.
6. To make the frosting, beat the butter, icing sugar and lemon juice using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Spread over the cooled cake and sprinkle with toasted coconut and almonds.