Mike and I traveled to England about 13 years ago, and I spent a great deal of time there drinking tea and enjoying classic British baked goods. That trip marked the first time I had a British scone, a wedge of millionaire’s shortbread, and digestive biscuits (which, incidentally, are absolutely delicious despite how they might sound).
That first scone, served alongside a pot of tea with strawberry jam and cream, reminded me more of an American biscuit but slightly more cakey. You can make scones with heavy cream or buttermilk and butter, but the heavy cream version will turn out more cakey, and I suspect those scones were the cream kind. This recipe came from Baking Mischief, though I did need just a bit more heavy cream than the recipe originally included. As I read in my King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion, flour can be dry in the winter, so sometimes you might need a bit more liquid in a scone recipe as a result. This recipe yields a small batch of just six scones, but you could easily double it for a larger batch.
- 1 1/2 cup (180 grams) flour, measured by the scoop-and-sweep method or by weight (I measured by weight)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream*
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
*You’ll need a bit more heavy cream to brush on top of the scones, probably about 1-2 tablespoons total.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Combine vanilla and heavy cream and drizzle over flour mixture, stirring gently to combine. You want a “shaggy” dough, with no loose flour at the bottom of the bowl, but the dough should not be sticky.
Gently shape the dough into a ball and turn out onto a lightly floured counter top. Press the dough into a disc about 5 1/2 inches wide.
Using a knife or bench scraper, cut the dough into 6 wedges. Transfer to a baking sheet, placing the wedges in a circle with about 1 inch between them. Brush the tops and sides with heavy cream to help them brown.
Bake for 14-16 minutes, until light golden brown on top; I used a cake tester on one scone to make sure the center was baked through. Remove from oven and allow to cool for just a few minutes; serve warm. Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature; warm before serving.