Mickey’s Scones

My friend Mickey, who was the first protocol teacher we had at Logos, had me over for coffee (many years ago now) and served up these delicious scones. Rachel, who is 34 weeks along today with her twins, is serving these tomorrow at a baby shower she is hosting in her home. (This is probably the last social event she will host for at least a few weeks….but it’s hard to keep a party-girl from throwing a party even with a house full of little ones.)

But before I give you the recipe, I need to reflect briefly on the difference between the American and the British scone. The scones I’ve had in America are quite tasty, but when we were visiting the Merkles in Oxford last January and again in March, I “experienced” the scone as something entirely new.

We had been hiking hither and yon through the streets of Oxford with the children (who were skipping merrily along the narrow sidewalks), through colleges, museums, and the market until we were quite chilly and exhausted. After touring the Ashmoleum Museum (which is really something), we spotted a sign for a tea shop and headed down the stairs for a little refreshment before continuing our journey. So, of course, we ordered scones and tea. Those little scones were hard as could be, so I was skeptical at first. But when you slather on something called clotted cream and eat them with a cup of steaming tea, something magical happens. It was unlike anything I had ever had before, and I suppose it can only happen in Great Britain, because try as I might here in America, tea and scones never satisfies the same way. But on British soil, it is the ultimate comfort food for the weary traveler.

Maybe it’s the chill, the walking, or just something in the air. But tea and scones positively minister to the soul there. Still, this recipe is pretty good, and served here on our native soil, it’s delish.

So here’s the recipe. Straight from Mickey’s kitchen to mine to yours. The American Scone. Don’t let it fool you just because you serve it up with marmalade. And if you have a copy of Hot Providence, the recipe is on page 44.

1 cup flour

2 T. brown sugar

2 t. poppy seeds

1 t. baking powder

1/4 t. soda

1/4 t. salt

3 T. butter, cut in

1/3 c. sour cream

1 egg yolk (save the white)

Stir together the ingredients until moistened. Knead a little. Pat into a circle and cut into six wedges, but do not separate. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with beaten egg white. Sprinkle with sugar.

Serve with the Marmalade Cream that you’ve prepared four hours ahead.

1/2 cup whipped cream

1/2 cup sour cream

2 T. marmalade

1 T. orange juice

Mix together the sour cream and the whipped cream and refrigerate for at least four hours. Just before serving, fold in the marmalade and orange juice. It’s just delicious.

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10 thoughts on “Mickey’s Scones

  1. And now, I’d be interested to know just how many batches of Mickey’s scones will be popping in and out of ovens all over the U.S. during the coming week. How about we keep track here?

  2. If you live here in Moscow, you can try them tomorrow at the shower for Bethany Hicks! Then you can see if you want to make them as well. But I’m pretty sure you will.

  3. Isn’t it wonderful to put that unprocessed sugar in your tea? I think sugar in huge crystals is especially wonderful at the bottom of a teacup. At least all of the places when I went in London had such sugar.

    I’ll have to try this scone recipe, but I prefer mine with lemon curd rather than clotted cream. Although we will be several more weeks before it will get very cold…it’s 70 here today (MS).

  4. saturday mornings usually mean pancakes for us, but it may be scones this week.
    a couple of years ago i hosted the elders’ wives for a ‘tea’. we dressed up, drank tea and champagne, and had a ball. we should do that again…

  5. I’m wondering what you mean by ‘hard’. I think here in Australia, we make the same kind of scones as the Brits. I was always taught that they should be light as a feather, with a thin crust, and soft in the middle. Plain scones really don’t have much of a flavour in and of themselves – it’s the home-made jam and clotted cream that does the trick. Oh – and you have to eat them fresh. Lovely the morning you bake them, and chook food the day after. My plain scone success is, um, erratic.

  6. Another Aussie sconemaker here…

    My mum has an incredibly simple scone recipe which she calls “Aunt Mary’s scones” because it was her aunt who told her about them.

    You take 2 3/4 cup S R flour, sift it with a pinch of salt. Then you take 2/3s cup of milk and 1/3 cup of cream, mix them gently in to the flour, roll it out about half an inch thick (so they rise), cut them into rounds, put them in the hottest possible oven, and get them out when they look ready.

    It’s very quick and easy. And I won the church scone-making contest last year against some pretty steep competition–my proudest cooking moment so far–, so I can vouch for the recipe ;).

  7. Well, I actually wasn’t going to comment tonight because it’s so late, but how can I not after two fellow-Aussies?

    My 2 cents: My MIL is the hands-down best scone maker in the world. My dh and I have been married 14.5 years now, and it is only this year, under her direction, that I have been brave enough to attempt to make them as hers are so formiddable. To my surprise, they were *almost* as good as hers. Her recipe (actually, it’s her Aunty Hilda’s recipe!) uses cream and milk, like Suzannah’s. If you’re out of cream, you can use extra milk plus melted butter. I’m too lazy to get up and find the quantities, sorry.

    We love to eat them with jam and whipped cream. I am afraid that I can’t bear to use the term “clotted” cream. It makes me feel ill.

    Anyway, enjoy! Goodnight.

    In Him

    Meredith

  8. I can vouch for the “Mickey’s Scones” recipe. I have the Hot Providence cookbook and tried them a week or 2 ago. Best scones I’ve ever eaten, but the thing that made them extraordinarily delicious was the marmalade cream. I instantly thought of other foods to try it on. I did use raspberry jam instead of the marmalade to avoid an extra trip to the store. 🙂

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