Have you ever been to an afternoon tea? I’ve been to two–one was at a hotel and the other was at a bed and breakfast. They were both such a treat! Having tea with friends and tasting fancy little tea sandwiches, cakes, scones, and pastries was such a wonderful break in the day.
My tea time memories came to mind as I was looking through my review copy of Afternoon Tea at Home by Will Torrent. Just looking at the cover photo will make you want to treat yourself to a special tea time or host your own afternoon tea!
The book has a wide selection of recipes–scones, spreads, tarts, cakes, tea sandwiches, cookies–everything you could ever want for tea time. And there are beautiful full-color photos of the recipes.
I decided to try the Blueberry and Buttermilk Scones since I had already been thinking about making some scones. The book also includes instructions for making Honeycomb Butter to serve along with these scones, but I just made the scones. I really liked them–they’re slightly sweet and moist, with lots of blueberries. I’ve had scones before that were too dry, but I thought the texture of these was just right!
BLUEBERRY AND BUTTERMILK SCONES from Afternoon Tea at Home
Makes 16 small scones
- 2 3/4 cups (350 g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 1 stick butter (125 g), chilled and diced
- generous 1/3 cup (75 g) granulated sugar (also called caster sugar)
- 2/3 to 3/4 cup (175-200 ml) buttermilk (I used 3/4 cup)
- 1 1/4 cup (150 g) fresh or frozen blueberries
- 2 Tablespoons whole milk
- 2 Tablespoons turbinado or demerara sugar (these are raw, unrefined sugars; you can substitute granulated sugar if you don’t have these)
Preheat oven to 400˚F (200˚C). Note: I also lined a baking sheet with parchment paper for the scones.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the chilled, diced butter and rub into the dry ingredients using your hands (I found it easier to use a pastry blender rather than my hands). When the mixture resembles sand and there are only very small pieces of butter remaining, add the granulated sugar and mix to combine.
Make a well in the middle of the mixture, add the buttermilk and blueberries and stir to combine using a rubber spatula. One the dough starts to come together, use your hands to form a rough ball.
Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Very lightly knead for about 30 seconds to bring the dough into an almost smooth ball but do not overwork the dough. Cut in half and flatten each half into a round disc each about 6 1/4 inches (16 cm) in diameter. Using a long, sharp knife cut each disc into 8 triangular wedge shapes.
Arrange the wedges on the prepared baking sheets and brush the tops with a little milk, scatter with turbinado sugar and bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, or until well-risen and golden.
Cool on a wire rack and serve slightly warm with butter or honey butter.
These scones would be great not only for tea time but for breakfast or brunch, too!
Have you been to an afternoon tea? Or hosted one?