Victoria Sweet Baking, of the Victoria Magazine family, is filled with many elegant brunch and tea type recipes. Though the photos make everything look tea room super schmancey, the recipes themselves are for the most part simple. Recipes such as cherry-filled scones, peach burnt sugar cream cake and lemon thyme poppies make you want to brew a pot of tea and grab a little Jane Austen to read.
High tea is one of life's little treasures. Something about mini sandwiches and warm scones piled with Devonshire cream...sigh.
Victoria's Royal Crescent Scones recipe is from the Royal Crescent Hotel in Bath, England. Bath is such a magical place. My friend Leslie and I traveled to Bath and didn't have tea at the famous Pump Room or anywhere in the Royal Crescent. I tried to remember why on earth that was, and then I recalled that I was a poor college student and we were budgeting our way through almost three weeks of backpacking. Our budget actually forced us to miss many of the culinary experiences that I now believe to be essential to travel. I've since had fabulous tea on my last trip to the UK, but alas, Bath tea and scones remain a dream.
Victoria's recipe for Royal Crescent Scone is the perfect scone...or so I think. Fresh from the oven it has a nice crunch on the outside with a tender, flaky and butery inside.
And while I may not have had tea in the Royal Crescent, I did find this particular teacup set near there. My little young self assumed all tea items purchased in Bath were "antiques," and I imagined the stories behind this particular set. It wasn't until I read the bottom years later that something about it struck me as not right. Ah..."microwave and dishwasher safe." Oh well, I still love it.
Royal Crescent Scones
from Victoria Sweet Baking
3 & 2/3 c. AP flour
6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1- 1 & 1/4 cup milk, plus additional for brushing scones
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with Silpat or parchment
2. Put flour in large bowl. With pastry blender or two knives, cut butter into flour until mixture forms a coarse meal. Add sugar, baking pwder and salt. Mix.
3. Gradually add enough milk to form a soft dough--mix only enough to incorporate dry ingredients. Turn dough onto floured surface and turn and fold dough gently several times to form smooth dough.
4. Roll dough on floured surface to a 1 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out scones with a floured 2-inchy biscuit cutter. Reroll scraps and cut additional scones. ARange scones 2 inches apart on baking sheet and lightly brush tops with milk. Sprinkle with large sugar crystals if desired.
5. Bake for 20 mins, or until golden. Serve with Devonshire cream while hot and fresh.
(Day old scones are hard, but a few minutes in the toaster makes a pretty tasty toast)