It is finally here! Season 3 of Downton Abbey has arrived.
The evening began with a cheese plate featuring cheeses from the British Isles:
Although all of these cheeses were made from cow’s milk, each had its own personality and flavor. One of my favorite combos was the Cotswold, on a multi-seed cracker, sprinkled with a touch of Worcestershire.
When we asked our friends which menu they would like – “upstairs” or “downstairs”, the vote was unanimous. Good British comfort food it is!
For the Soup course, a butternut squash soup. You can find my basic recipe for this dish on a previous blog. The only difference this time was the consistency. I kept it a little thicker. It was delicious, but I will probably go back to a thinner consistency next time.
Main course – Bangers and Mash. Flavorful sausages made from veal and pork and hearty mashed potatoes – with lots of cream and butter.
Final course – Classic Cream Scones and Strawberries. If there is one recipe that I am very partial to, it is my Classic Cream Scone. Although I have enjoyed scones from reputable creators in Austin, I can honestly say that I have yet to find a perfect scone on the market. To begin, traditional scones have currants – not raisins. You don’t want them too large – they should present a touch of class on a plate. Classic scones are also very distinctive in texture, more dense than an American biscuit.
Here is the recipe:
CLASSIC CREAM SCONES– recipe from Simply Scones by Leslie Weiner and Barbara Alright
2 cups flour
¼ cup sugar
2 tsps baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, chilled
½ cup heavy (whipping) cream
1 ½ tsps vanilla extract
½ cup currants
* 1 egg mixed with 1 tsp water for glaze (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425F. Lightly butter a baking sheet. (I use a Pampered Chef stone for most of my baking, so no butter is required).
- In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Cut the butter into ½-inch cubes and distribute over the flour mixture. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles course crumbs.
- In another small bowl, stir together cream, egg and vanilla.
- Add the cream mixture to the flour mixture and stir until combined. Stir in the currants.
- With lightly floured hands, pat the dough into a ½-inch thickness on a lightly floured cutting board. Using a floured biscuit cutter (or glass), cut out rounds from the dough and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Gather scraps together and repeat until dough is used.
- If desired, brush the tops of the scones with the egg mixture.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes, until lightly browned.
- Let scones cool for 5 minutes before removing them from the baking sheet to a wire rack. serve warm or cool completely and store in an airtight container.