Spring has sprung at last! Flowers, blossom, sunshine and a glint of hope. I made these for afternoon tea in the garden and they were stunning. A subtle hint of earl grey and delicate lavender make these scones delicious and a more unusual take on afternoon tea. If scones are on the agenda, I beg you to try these and fall in love (okay now I sound like a weirdo who loves scones… which I pretty much am!)
Something about afternoon tea excites me. For me it is about concentrating the most scrumptious and beautiful things possible into little mouthfuls. Scones have also always been a favourite for me. They are some of my earliest baking memories; waking up and baking a fresh batch of scones with my Gran in Yorkshire. Oh the thrill of eating a warm scone with thick clotted cream and fresh strawberry jam for breakfast!
For these scones however a more delicate jam is in order. For me, blueberry jam (or conserve if you are posh) is perfect. It is sweet, mild and bursting with ambrosia.
Personally, I love spending ages baking different pastries and cakes, but for the busy, no fuss option, scones are a winner. They only take 15 minutes to bake and involve basic store cupboard ingredients. For this recipe I use lavender sugar (can be bought in Waitrose or specialist cook shops) however, you can make your own lavender sugar or just have plain earl grey scones and use normal sugar. I have to say that I am very chuffed with this recipe as it is my own invention and to die for, darling.
My lavender grows abundantly (and a bit wildly) in my front garden, so when summer comes, a plethora of lavender is in want of good use. I maniacally bake batches of lavender shortbread, scones, cakes and assemble jars of lavender sugar. My sister
makes crate loads of lavender bags, and we all get sick of it by september. This recipe though, is refreshing and definitely worth making. If you have any lavender make this.
That reminds me, I have school tomorrow – NOOOOOO. I will relax with a pot of earl grey tea and a scrumdiddliumptious scone (a Roald Dahl reference there for any fans.. although most of them are about 7 years old).
Earl Grey and Lavender Scones
75g/3oz butter, cubed
350g/12oz self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
75g/3oz lavender sugar (or 3oz sugar + 1 tsp ground, dried lavender heads)
250ml/9 floz milk (ideally whole, but semi skimmed is fine)
3-4 earl grey tea bags
1) Place the milk and tea bags together in a little jug (a hot tub party for the tea bags… well a cold tub). Leave them to chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours; the longer you leave them the stronger the flavour.
2) Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan. In a large mixing bowl, rub the butter into the flour, baking powder and sugar using your fingertips (it’s a sort of sprinkling action) until it looks like fine breadcrumbs.
3) Get rid of the tea bags and add the milk gradually to the mixture, bringing it together with your hands until it forms a soft dough (if it’s sticky, add a bit more flour).
4) Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about 4cm thickness – NOT TOO THIN. Use a circular cutter (about 5cm diameter) to cut out perfectly shaped scones or divide the dough into two rectangles and cut six triangles from each. Place on the baking trays and dust with flour.
5) Pop the scones in the oven to bake for 12-15 minutes until they are slightly golden. Take out, glow with pride and devour with dollops of clotted cream and blueberry jam.
These scones are very special, so if you just want basic scones, use the same quantities but with no lavender or earl grey. If you want cheese scones or savoury ones, don’t add any sugar and include 50g grated parmesan or cheddar in the mix. Happy baking.