It took me ages to understand the idea behind famous English dessert. And I mean – ages! The name is perfectly misleading, wouldn’t you agree? First thing which comes to mind is actually a cup of tea with cream – simple, awful and definitely not for me. But there is a catch! A catch with English use of word tea.
Cream tea could be hidden under Devonshire tea, Devon cream tea or Cornish cream tea, but regardless the nomenclature we are talking about delicious desert, which will make you regret your stomach is not a size of a blue whale (which is so big that ten elephants could easily fit in), so you can keep eating.
I was not aware that the word tea has quite different meaning in England, and can be easily translate as an afternoon meal. And cream tea is supposed to be a light (good Lord!), refreshing meal, served in the afternoon. But to be completely honest – if you are lucky enough to try real cream tea (my advice – go and seek proper tea room, never, please, never go for a cream tea to one of the chain restaurants, as I can give you a guarantee you will not be served a proper one!) you will end up wondering how on Earth am I feeling completely stuffed after eating this lovely, light and quite small meal?
The devil is of course in details. So, first things first – you can chose tea or coffee. I often chose coffee, but tea is not a silly idea after all. Especially if you could try fruit or even mint tea!
Then you have scones. And they can be small or a big – it all depends on the way the owner of a tea room chooses to make them.
And then you have the icing on a cake – clotted cream. A lot of clotted cream. Normally you would not put such a generous amount of butter on your bread, but this is cream tea after all! When I think about the thickness of the layer of clotted cream on a scone, sometimes I think that the secret lies in trying to even the thickens of the scone with the thickness of clotted cream. And judging by the amount you are presented with – this could be true!
Last element is the jam. If you are lucky – and this all depends on a tea room you are choosing – the best once are in a small villages, hidden away in a back street, with older owners – they do know what they are doing with their cream tea! – you can try home-made lovely, sweet and light strawberry or raspberry jam.
Cream tea is the queen of English deserts – there is no doubt about it, at least for me. If you want, you can even try to make your own, but be careful – there is so many recipes available that is really hard to guess which one would be the best. Perhaps, speak with the owner of proper tea room, the old lady, and she will be able to share some secrets with you? Or just test a few, so you can become a cream tea guru and amazed your friends and family when they come visit 🙂