Last weekend our English beekeeping friends Lillian and John were visiting their family here in CT. When they visit we always get together and exchange information and updates on how our bee season is going. They reported to have harvested some 3,000 lbs of honey this year and are always thoughtful enough to bring us a jar of their special harvest. Their Oxfordshire honey is close to white in color with a hint of warm yellow. As you can see from the picture it is practically pure cream in texture yet with a gentle granular texture. I love how honey can have these two completely different qualities in the same mouthfull. Not only did we get to indulge in their honey, we were treated to a traditional English tea party! Below are a few photos of the offerings...
ABOVE: Lovely cucumber sandwiches, crustless in the traditional style, English Breakfast tea with bee designed napkins...a thoughtful touch. BELOW: Scones with strawberry jam and REAL clotted creme! It was all so heavenly and a chance to relax and while reflecting over the bees who bring us such lovely indulgences.
My Recipe for Traditional English Scones:
Yield: 1 dozen
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup raisins
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift together the flour and baking powder. In a separate bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add the 1/4 cup sugar, beating until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, then add the flour mixture and the buttermilk. Sprinkle the raisins over the dough and gently fold them in. Using an ice-cream scoop, place mounds of dough on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve the scones warm, with strawberry jam and clotted cream.