*If you are new here, WELCOME! For British Scones Recipe, I provide you with a brief summary about the recipe, other food ideas, tips and a recipe in that order!
The Invincible Miss Cust is Penny Haw’s first historical women’s fiction novel, but I hope it isn’t her last. The novel follows Aleen Cust as she grows up in Britain and ultimately becomes Britain’s first woman veterinary surgeon.
Aleen Cust defied seemingly insurmountable odds from both society and her own family in order to study in the field, practice, and finally become the first licensed woman veterinary surgeon in Britain.
The story of her life was absolutely fascinating and the author, Penny Haw, was able to sprinkle in just enough storytelling to weave together a stirring tale of ambition, romance, and friendship.
Set in the late 1800s in England and Ireland, the book demands a recipe for British scones served with tea. On your finest china of course.
Penny Haw was kind enough to share her own family’s past time of serving scones topped with cream and jam – a British favorite. If you haven’t tried this delightful treat or you are looking for a good recipe to whip up some scones in your own kitchen, keep reading.
And don’t forget to check out The Invincible Miss Cust! If you’d like to read more about the book, you can check out my full post: HERE!
If you love podcasts, you can also check out The Best of Women’s Ficiton podcast where Penny Haw discusses The Invincible Miss Cust and more: HERE.
For Other British Food Ideas:
Aleen is far too busy working towards her MRCVS designation to stop too often and describe the food she is eating. Which was okay with me as a reader. Haw packed so much of Aleen’s life into the book, I was glad she didn’t waste too much space on food descriptions. Still, there were a couple of mentions of meals.
Here are a few of the food ideas from the pages of The Invincible Miss Cust :
- Bertie takes Aleen to tea after he stops the fight – tea, delicate sandwiches, petit fours
- Bangers and mash
- Colcannon at Mrs. Doyle’s (see author note at the end of this post) – potato and cabbage dish
- Lots of tea
Luckily, if you aren’t sure about what to create for a British inspired menu, Penny and I came up with a recipe for scones with cream and jam.
Serve these warm, flaky scones alongside tea in your best tea set – a great way to indulge while reading The Invincible Miss Cust.
The recipe makes a batch of 10 scones, but you can double if you have a large family!
A few tips on cooking British Scones:
Here are a few tips to help make your cooking experience the best it can be!
1) Make sure you use cold butter. Use a pastry cutter to “cut” the butter into the flour mixture until pea sized pearls of butter are scattered throughout. If your butter is too warm, it will simply mash into the flour. The pearls of butter make the flaky texture of the best scones.
2) You can add more sugar if you want sweeter scones. These are only slightly sweet. Double the sugar if you like sweeter scones.
3) Do not overwork the dough after you add the wet ingredients to the dry. Be careful to form into a dough with firm movements, but don’t overwork. You’ll know if you’ve overworked the dough if it becomes springy to the touch (at that point the dough is dense and has lost the potential for flaky goodness).
4) Pat the dough into a disk, don’t roll it out. Use the palm of your hand to help. Make the disk at least 1 inch high. Higher if you want sky-high scones.
British Scones Recipe:
British Scones with Jam and Cream
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- ½ cup unsalted butter diced
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 large eggs divided
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Clotted cream for serving
- Strawberry Jam for serving
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Dice the stick of butter. Make sure it stays cold. Cold butter is what makes the scone’s texture.
- Once diced, add the butter to the flour mix. Using a pastry cutter, gently cut the butter into the flour until a rough crumb mix is achieved. The butter should appear to be about pea size in the mix. Make sure you work quickly. The goal is to keep the butter cold until it reaches the oven where it will do its magic and create flaky scones.
- Quickly whisk together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl – heavy cream, ONE egg (reserve the second for later), and vanilla extract.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the flour and butter mix. Mix together until everything is moistened and forming into a crumbly dough, but try not to overwork the dough. The goal is to keep the butter cold and in small pea-sized bits for the best scones.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and form into an 8-inch disc (about an inch high).
- Using a 2 inch cookie cutter, cut into 10 scones.
- Separate the slices and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Whisk the remaining egg. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops with the egg. Bake them for 15 minutes until golden brown on the tops.
- Serve topped with butter, clotted cream, and jam.
- Serve with tea, using your finest china tea set. Imagine you are in the drawing room at Newton Hall with the Widdringtons and Aleen.
More Fun from Penny Haw:
Please insert a short description of your recipe and why it relates to your novel. Include any information you think readers would enjoy!
Scones, cream, and jam a la THE INVINCIBLE MISS CUST Aleen Cust was born in 1868 in Ireland to an aristocratic English family. Is there anything more English than tea in the drawing room with scones, cream, and jam? I’m certain Aleen, Dorothy and Bertie regularly consumed the delicacies at teatime in Newton Hall after a long ride to the beach. Though not aristocratic, my great grandfather father immigrated to South Africa from Yorkshire, England to South Africa in the late 1800s. He brought with him many English traditions, including the love scones, cream, and jam, which he passed on to my grandmother.
Good food and a good book go hand-in-hand. What is your favorite food to enjoy while reading?
I have a great fondness for nuts. There’s nothing nicer than munching on a bottomless bowl of mixed nuts—almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, macadamias, pecans and hazelnuts—while sipping a glass of Chenin Blanc and reading.
Did you sample any interesting food while researching this book? Or experience anything exciting while researching?
When, in 1900, Aleen arrived in Athleague in Ireland to begin working with Willie Byrne (chapter 20), she stayed with Mrs Doyle in the village. During the first evening in the Doyle home, Mrs Doyle served colcannon, which is a traditional Irish dish made primarily of potatoes and cabbage. While researching colcannon, I realised that the dish was the same as one my husband grew up eating in the Netherlands and which I adopted and regularly make at home in South Africa during winter. In the Netherlands, it’s known as “stamp pot”. I wonder how many variations of colcannon or stamp pot there are around the world and what different names they have?
Find Penny Haw:
Penny can be found online!
Don’t forget to check out the fabulous Best of Women’s Fiction podcast where Penny Haw discusses The Invincible Miss Cust and more: HERE.
Have you read The Invincible Miss Cust? What did you think? Did you try this recipe for British Scones? Let us know your own variations on British Scones!
Until next time, Happy Reading!
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