It seems we can thank Anna, the Duchess of Bedford (1788 – 1861), for the pairing of tea and scones. It's said that she asked for tea and "sweet breads," which included scones, and was so taken by the combination that she repeated the order every afternoon thereafter, establishing the English tradition.
If you'd like to bake scones for your next Poetry Teatime, here is a simple recipe.
- 2 c flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp butter
- 1/2 c buttermilk
- Lightly beaten egg
Mix dry ingredients. Preheat oven to 425. Cut in butter until resembles coarse mixture. Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk (you can use milk). Mix until dough clings together and sticks a bit. Do not over mix.
Turn onto a floured surface and shape into 6-8 inch round about 1 1/2 inch thick. Cut into wedges or cut with biscuit cutter. Good scones mean a minimum of handling. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Brush with egg for shiny surface. Bake at 425 for 10-20 minutes until lightly browned.
Serve with butter, lemon curds, jam, or honey.
Recipe from An Invitation to Tea by Emilie Barnes (affiliate link)