Scones: Cream First or Jam? The Ultimate High Tea Question!

We were on holiday in Cornwall and had stopped in a lovely café for an afternoon Cream Tea. It was the first time my then 6 year old son had Devonshire or Cornish cream.

 What would he think? I have to admit that as a tea enthusiast I was hoping he would like it.

 “This is delicious!” He exclaimed.  He still remembers it and the experience has been repeated on many holidays around Britain.

 The practise of enjoying scones in the full British sense is with Strawberry Jam and Clotted Cream. It’s sometimes called Cornish cream because it’s made from dairy produced in Cornwall. If the cream is from Devon then it’s Devonshire Cream. Either way, it’s absolutely divine.

 I encourage you to not settle for second best – whipped cream.  There’s no denying that any cream with jam is wonderful – but only clotted cream will really elicit a true, ‘This is Delicious!’

 But the question still remains; which goes on the scone first? A BBC crew went into a café in Devon to see what the local people did and half the people in the cafe adamantly put the jam on first while the rest of the customers were committedly putting the cream on first. You can read about the dilemma here.

 In our house it’s all about how easy it is to eat the scone. Personally, I find the jam easier to spread and the cream is delicious as a dollop on top. So do what you like, but be sure it’s clotted cream and enjoy!

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 How to Make Your Own Clotted Cream

    • 3 pints whole raw milk (not pasteurized)
    • ½ pint heavy whipping cream

Mix the milk and cream together and pour into a wide saucepan. Cover to keep out the dust and leave to stand in a cool place (NOT the fridge) for several hours until the cream has risen to the top.

Lift the pan carefully onto the stove so that the risen layer of cream is not disturbed or broken up. Warm through on the lowest possible heat, on an asbestos mat if you like.

Keep at this low heat for 40-50 minutes until the top of the cream is crinkled and golden yellow.

Remove the pan from the stove, cover and leave to stand for several hours or overnight in a cool place…but NOT the fridge!

Then, using a slotted spoon, skim off the cream into a dish, allowing the milk to drain back into the pan. The milk can be used for pancakes or scones.


Teresa Barker

Teresa Barker

Ever since she was a little girl, Teresa has loved looking at fine china and some of her prominent childhood memories are about the beautiful patterns on the china tableware in the homes she would visit! She's been living in Great Britain for 13 years, along with her husband and three children.