Scones are a top tea time treat. They are the heart and soul of a “cream tea” that features them along with clotted cream and fruit preserves (often raspberry or blackcurrant). They are also part of breakfast for many of us and have even been known to show up for lunch, dinner, and that all important bedtime snack. Small wonder that scone lovers have come up with different ways to shape and bake their scones.
Awhile back the folks at The English Tea Store posed a question on their Facebook page: Do you drop your scone batter on the baking sheet or roll it out and cut into shapes? The replies seemed pretty evenly split. A few folks even use alternatives like shaping the dough into a pan or using an ice cream scoop to portion it out. And the variety of shapes ranges from rounds and squares to diamonds and triangles (the most traditional shape). (Tip: whether you’re using a knife or some other tool to cut the batter into those shapes, be sure not to twist it — you’ll want nice clean cuts.)
Scones vs. Biscuits
We Americans often compare scones to biscuits, but there is a key difference: scones are made with cold butter, and biscuits most often are made with lard (animal fat) or vegetable shortening. The scones have a heavier texture that stands up to that fruit preserves and clotted cream. The American biscuits are lighter and flakier, perfect for butter or a rich gravy.
The Welsh Version
There is a Welsh version of the scone called the Welsh cake. It looks to us like halfway between a scone and a pancake. These treats can be served hot off the griddle (they are most often baked on a cast iron griddle on the stove top) or even cold and are usually dusted with caster sugar. Since they contain sultanas, too, they are eaten as is without the clotted cream or fruit preserves. You might see them served with butter or spread with jam, but mainly in tea rooms.
It’s Your Choice
Plopping spoonfuls of dough on a greased baking sheet, using an ice cream scooper to fill the partitions of a cupcake pan, spreading the dough out in a baking pan, rolling out the dough and cutting into shapes — there is no right or wrong here. There is only your preference. Don’t forget that wonderful pot of hot tea (usually a strong blend such as a breakfast blend or Scottish Breakfast) and the clotted cream and fruit preserves.
See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.
© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.