Strawberry Jam, Scones and an Invitation to Tea

By Mildred Jones

Anna Marie Stanhope the 7th Duchess of BedfordThe tradition for Afternoon Tea dates back to Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford in the early 19th century. The story is told that, serving dinner as late as 9:00 pm left the Duchess hungry. To stave off the hunger pangs, she would ask for tea, bread, and cakes to be brought to her. The habit soon developed into a custom and gave birth to afternoon tea. I suggest you enjoy the scones with homemade strawberry jam with clotted cream and of course, a hot cuppa tea!

There is something self-satisfying and fulfilling about making home-made jam that is inexplicable. The aroma of earthy fruits combined fills the kitchen, when the preparation of a full bodied jam, thick in texture is underway. As I once lived on a farm with oranges, apples and apricots growing in my front lawn, it was an easy pick for the day. I took these recipes home with me to urban Singapore, along with memories of the simple pleasures in life. Here, I would like to introduce to you, ruby red strawberries and dates goodness that are filled with deep flavours, the perfect spread for afternoon tea with scones.

Ingredients:
Dates, 2 cups
Strawberries, 2 cups
Sugar (optional),
Orange Juice and Lemon Juice.

Method
Prepare the strawberries by adding sugar and lemon juice and leave overnight to soak.

The next morning, tear the dates and place them in a saucepan. Then cover the dates with water and cook for 5 minutes on a low flame. Once the dates are soft, add orange juice (1/2 a cup) and cook for another 5 minutes.

Blend the strawberries and add them into the saucepan.

Mash the mixture to a rich texture and cook until it’s thick.

Remove to a clean jar and cool before refrigerating. The dates will act as a natural preservative for the jam.Strawberry Preserves
Scones

Ingredients
225g plain flour
4 tablespoon of baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
50g butter
25g of caster sugar
150ml of milk
I medium egg

Method:
Preheat oven to 450°F / 230°C and lightly grease a baking tray.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and rub in the butter into a breadcrumb mixture.
Stir in the sugar and add the milk, mixing it into a soft dough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead briefly.
Roll the dough out and cut out rounds.
Place on baking tray. Brush the tops with beaten egg and bake for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack.Strawberry Preserves and Scones for Afternoon Tea
Enjoy good company with these delightful scones with homemade jam, just as it has been a pleasure to share them with you.

Photo Acknowledgements: Jonsestore,files.wordpress.com, adashofsoul.com, images.slideplayer.com

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