Please wait, the site is loading...

Today is the start of another big British sporting event, The Ashes. But this time it's not strawberries and Pimm's to accompany play – it's all about afternoon tea: cucumber sandwiches, scones and 'more tea vicar'. We went to Lord's cricket ground last week to check out what head pâtissier Thierry Besselievre is serving for the thousands of Barmy Army fans who'll be descending on the venue in the weeks to come.

On the menu for this summer are brownies with coffee cream and popcorn; mini Victoria sponge cakes; melting moments with a passionfruit cream filling; mini summer fruit tarts; sandwiches of all kinds and, of course, the traditional British scone with homemade strawberry jam and clotted cream. Click here to buy tickets.

We watched and 'helped' Thierry make a batch of scones (slightly smaller than the usual 260 he makes in one go) in the kitchen at Lord's and picked up some useful tips for baking them at home.

Thierry always puts jam on his scones before cream – what's your preference? Tell us in the comments box below.

Thierry's top scone tips...

  • Don't overmix the dough or your scones won't be light in texture.
  • Work on a cold surface so you don't add unnecessary heat to the ingredients.
  • You can re-roll the dough once or twice but no more, or you'll overwork the gluten.
  • Brush the tops of the scones with egg wash to make them waterproof. This traps the steam inside, cooking the scones evenly – the air will escape through the sides, which is what creates the cracks. It will also give your scones a gorgeous golden glow.

These are the scones we made fresh from the oven (with a few added dried cranberries for good measure)

Buttermilk scones (makes 6-8)

Ingredients

  • 340 g self-raising flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 75g soft unsalted butter, in small pieces
  • 135ml milk
  • 75ml buttermilk
  • 40g raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Method

  1. In a bowl, mix the flour and sugar together with a generous pinch of salt, then add the pieces of butter and rub them in, using your fingertips, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Mix the milk and buttermilk in a jug, then add to the bowl. Stir together until it comes together as a doughy texture. Don't over mix it as this will change the finished texture of the scones.
  3. Divide the dough in two. Add the raisins to the one half, gently folding them into the dough.
  4. Roll the plain batch of dough on a floured board to 3cm thickness.
  5. Using a 5cm round cutter, stamp out the scones, re-rolling as necessary. Place the scones on a baking tray.
  6. Repeat the same process with the dough containing the raisins. Leave the scones to rest for 20 minutes before baking them. Preheat the oven to 160°C, fan 140°C, gas 3.
  7. Repeat the same process with the dough containing the raisins. Leave the scones to rest for 20 minutes before baking them. Preheat the oven to 160°C, fan 140°C, gas 3.
 

About the author

Sarah Alcock