Charlotte Smith’s high tea with scones and jam

Portrait of a recipe

Charlotte Smith lives in the Blue Mountains, which is famous for the high tea served at the stunning art-deco hotel The Hydro Majestic. We thought a high tea would be the perfect accompaniment to an episode focused on fashion, and to honour Charlotte’s British heritage. These fluffy English scones accompanied classic cucumber sandwiches (Kate charmed the recipe out of the chef at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford) and chicken, rocket and mayonnaise sandwiches. We added some macaroons for colour and arranged them on every beautiful platter and cake stand we could find. Combined with Charlotte’s silver tea service, we were transported to England and more genteel times. It is an extremely pleasant way to pass the afternoon with friends. I shall be doing it more often!

These fluffy English style scones are light and rise like the sun! Spread with jam and clotted cream or butter for breakfast or afternoon tea. Enjoy!

Ingredients
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour

  • 4 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature

  • 2/3 cup whole milk

  • 1 large egg

  • Strawberry jam (or other flavours if you prefer)

  • Dollop cream

Method

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C.

In a food processor, pulse the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar a couple times to combine.

Add the butter and pulse seven to 10 times until the butter is completely distributed. You shouldn’t see any chunks of butter, and the mixture should have a sandy texture to it. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk the milk and egg until combined. Save 2 tbsp of the mixture for the egg wash later, and pour the rest into the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients.

Stir to combine with a spatula, until a rough dough forms.

Transfer to a lightly floured countertop and knead about 10 times until the dough comes together into a relatively smooth ball. Take care not to knead too much, or the dough will be tougher and not rise as high.

Roll the dough about an inch thick and use a 5cm cutter to cut about seven circles. Re-roll the scraps and cut out another two.

Place the scones onto a parchment or silicone-mat-lined baking sheet and brush the tops with the reserved egg wash.

Bake the scones for 13-15 minutes, until they roughly triple in height, and are golden brown on the tops and bottoms. Enjoy!

Note: If making this recipe by hand, whisk to combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and mix in the butter with a hand mixer. Proceed with the recipe as instructed.

Image Credit: Takeaway [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons