Afternoon tea with homemade jam & scones


Afternoon tea is a British tradition that has been around for centuries. It’s one of my favourite affairs, there’s something about sitting down in the early afternoon for tea and cake that seems very indulgent especially during the week when everyone else is at work. A few weeks ago I decided to make my own afternoon tea as I had a few hours spare and was in the mood for baking.

Victoria Plum Jam recipe
I N G R E D I E N T S :

1 kg (35 oz) plums (or any other fruit you wish)

2 kg (70 oz)  caster sugar

150 ml (5 fl oz) water

100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) lemon juice

2 sachets pectin (optional)

M E T H O D :

1. De-stone your plums, the easiest way to do this is to cut around the outside of the plum all the way around and pull the top half off and then take the stone out. Be warned, if you de-stone plums with bare hands they may be temporarily stained orange. I used Victoria plums which are smaller and sweeter than regular plums but any kind of plum will work for this.

2. Add the plums, sugar, lemon juice and water to a large stock pot and bring to the boil. If you'd rather a more tart jam opposed to sweet - like myself - don't use all of the sugar.

3. Leave the mixture to boil for at least ten minutes.

4. Remove the mixture form the heat and add the pectin. Pectin is a structural agent in jam so if you like quite stiff jam then add it to the mixture but if you prefer more runny jam  - like me - with the consistency of honey, then leave the pectin out.

5. If you’ve added pectin return the mixture to the boil for a further minute. 

6. Leave the jam mixture to cool slightly and skim off the foam with a metal spoon.
7. Once the mixture has cooled slightly now is the time to blend the mixture so you have a smooth jam. I recommend using a hand blender for this but if you don’t have one a regular blender will also work, however I would recommend waiting until the jam mixture is very nearly cool otherwise it will explode out of the blender and make a massive mess and potentially scold you.

8. After the mixture has been blended and is smooth to your liking then you can pour it into your jars. I used recycled jars but you can buy them if you don’t have any. I found the easiest way to transfer the mixture from the pan to the jars was by using a turkey baster as it was less messy than spooning it in.

9. Jam is a preserve so in theory it should never go off however to prevent any mould from forming on the top cut out pieces of baking parchment the size of each jar lid to place on top of the jam.

Mary Berry Fruity Scones recipe

I N G R E D I A N T S :

75g (2 1/2 oz) butter, chilled and cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing

350g (12 oz) self-raising flour

1 1⁄2 tsp baking powder

30g (1 oz) caster sugar

75g (2 1⁄2 oz) sultanas or dried fruit of your choice

about 150 ml (5fl oz) milk

2 large eggs, beaten (or three small ones)

M E T H O D : 

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (fan 200°C/425°F/Gas 7) and grease a large baking sheet.
2. Put the flour and baking powder into a large chilled mixing bowl and add the cubes of butter. Try to keep all of the ingredients as cold as possible. Rub the butter into the flour lightly and quickly with your fingers until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and sultanas - you can used whatever dried fruit you like, I used mixed fruit which added a citrus note.
3. Pour 100ml (31⁄ 2fl oz) of the milk and all but 2 tablespoons of the beaten egg into the mixture. Mix together until a a soft dough is formed, add more milk if needed to mop up any dry bits of mixture at the bottom of the bowl.
4. Place the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and form into a ball, then gently roll to form a rectangle about 2 cm (3⁄4 inch) deep.
5. Cut out as many rounds as possible from the first rolling with a 6cm (21⁄2in) cutter (a plain cutter is easier to use than a fluted one - or use a mug like I did) and lay them on the baking sheet, spaced slightly apart as they will rise in the oven. Gather the trimmings, then roll and cut out again, repeat until you’ve used as much of the mixture as you can, about 10-12 scones.

6. Egg wash the tops with the left over beaten egg. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden in colour. Take out of the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Serve with clotted cream and the jam you made earlier along with a pot of tea.

~ Jade xx

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Photography information

Canon 600D with 18-55mm lens, Canon 24mm lens or Sigma 70-300mm lens. Canon EOS M with 18-55mm lens or Canon 24mm lens. Any edited photos are edited using Photoshop CS6. Picture source is given for any photo used that is not directly ours.