Orange Scones

You can’t have a tea party without scones, right?! I means, scones are one of the key ingredients to a successful tea party. Scones have been eaten in Devon and Cornwall since the 11th century but it would take the advent of the railway network and refrigeration to popularize the cream tea – taking the hot drink with scones slathered in clotted cream and preserves. Day-trippers to the seaside in the early 20th century would take the tradition home with them and scones would soon become an afternoon tea staple.

I mentioned yesterday that we are having a tea party coming up on Saturday. Making Truffles Here are my scones I made for the day.

Traditionally tea parties tend to be in the afternoons, although today, they have evolved into more of a brunch celebration. Afternoon tea, that most quintessential of English customs is, perhaps surprisingly, a relatively new tradition. Whilst the custom of drinking tea dates back to the third millennium BC in China and was popularized in England during the 1660s by King Charles II and his wife the Portuguese Infanta Catherine de Braganza, it was not until the mid 19th century that the concept of ‘afternoon tea’ first appeared.

Afternoon tea was introduced in England by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, in the year 1840. The Duchess would become hungry around four o’clock in the afternoon. The evening meal in her household was served fashionably late at eight o’clock, thus leaving a long period of time between lunch and dinner. The Duchess asked that a tray of tea, bread and butter (some time earlier, the Earl of Sandwich had had the idea of putting a filling between two slices of bread) and cake be brought to her room during the late afternoon. This became a habit of hers and she began inviting friends to join her.

Traditional afternoon tea consists of a selection of dainty sandwiches (including of course thinly sliced cucumber sandwiches), scones served with clotted cream and preserves.

Since it is close to Valentine’s Day, everything (at least what I am preparing) is with a Valentine’s Day theme. My scones are heart shaped. The funny thing is though, when I made my scones, I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter that was about 1/2 the size of the scones. I had no idea they were going to grow as big as they did. No worries though, they came out so light and fluffy, with just a hint of orange and nutmeg to them. I will make some Devonshire or clotted cream to go with them (today’s plan) too. I am not sure if I am going to serve them with orange marmalade on the side, or raspberry jam, or perhaps both. I’ll let you know what I decide. 🙂

I make scones quite often. There are many different recipes, from many different sources. I am not picky. All I ask is that they are light, fluffy and delicious. These scones certainly pass the muster. Note to self with these gems though, is that they really do rise. They doubled in size from what I was expecting. So next time I make these, especially if I am cutting them into hearts again, use a smaller cookie cutter. 🙂

Orange Scones

Preheat the oven to 425* F or about 220* C.

Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.

2 cups flour

1/3 cup sugar + more for topping the scones

1 TBSP baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 TBSP orange zest

1/2 cup or 1 stick of cold butter, cubed

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1 egg

Combine the flour, salt, nutmeg, orange zest and baking powder together and mix well. Add the cubed butter, and mash everything together until it all resembles coarse sand. Form a well in the center.

Mix the eggs and whipping cream together and pour into the well. Gently incorporate the flour mixture into the liquid. Mix just until the flour has been absorbed and a soft sough has been formed.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough into either a circle or a rectangle and pat it out with your hands until the dough is about 3/4 of in inch thick. Cut with cookie cutters in your desired shapes.

Place the scones on the parchment paper lined sheet pans then sprinkle the tops with the remaining sugar.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until they are lightly golden and puffy. Serve with either orange marmalade, or other jam of your choice, or clotted cream, or both. I will be serving mine with both.

My friend Wendy and I got all the tables set up yesterday. We kept it simple and elegant.

Stay tuned, I have more tea party goodies coming your way, and of course, you will see pictures of the whole party too.

Have a great day. Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.


Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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