Scones and Tea for the Queen’s Birthday

for the
Queen's Birthday

There’s still two months before we get to the Burleigh BBQ competition and coming up in June is one of Australia’s favourite events: the Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend. The Queen’s Birthday (actually, the sovereign’s birthday because the ruler could be a king or a queen) was first celebrated in 1784. Since then the tradition has spread throughout the Commonwealth, varies from country to country and interestingly is never on the monarch’s actual birthday.

Regardless of how you feel about the Royal Family, there is no doubt that the Queen’s Birthday long weekend is a much loved part of our culture. What are your plans? Are you going on holidays? Camping? Renovating? Or just relaxing at home? Whatever you have planned, this month’s recipe is sure to be delicious: Scones with Jam and Cream, cooked in your BBQ. Yum yum!

To begin, put some self-raising flour in a large bowl. Then add some finely cubed butter. Now it’s time to get your hands dirty. So make sure they’re clean before you start!

Using your fingers, combine the flour and butter together until it is nicely crumbled. Create a dam in the middle and add a cup of milk. Slowly combine the mixture with the milk and create a dough. You may need to add up to another quarter of a cup of milk in order to make this happen, but if you do, add it very slowly: you can always add more, but you can’t take it back… but if you do need to, just add some more flour!

Dust a baking tray with plain flour. Pull your dough out of the bowl and set it on the tray. You need to knead it well for a few minutes. It is possible to over-knead though, which will result in tough scones as opposed to light and fluffy.

There are two methods you can use for making your scones: you can use a rolling pin to roll your dough out to about a two centimetre thickness and then cut out your scones with a five -centimetre scone cutting disc. I didn’t have one of these, but I did have an egg-ring. So I dusted my egg ring with plain flour, tore off chunks of dough and shoved it into the egg-ring and then slide the egg-ring off over the top of the scone.

On a freshly powdered baking tray (or the same one, just re-powder it) lay out your scones, leaving enough room between them for expansion.

You need to have your BBQ set up for indirect cooking and you need to hit 200 degrees Celsius. I found that my BBQ was taking a really long time to heat up to 200 degrees and so I grabbed a pair of pavers and put them on top of the grill so I could turn on the middle burners also. I was then able to lay the baking tray across the top of the pavers. This allowed me to still have indirect cooking with all four burners. I then had to monitor the temperature gauge and turn down the burners to maintain 200 degrees.

While the scones are cooking you need to prepare your whipped cream. Pour your thickened cream into a bowl. You can do the following with a whisk but believe me when I tell you that it will take at least ten times the amount of time and will leave you with RSI. Use a hand-held electric beater and whip the cream. Before you do, add some vanilla and some caster sugar. Beat the cream until it thickens to the point where you can spoon it and it will hold its shape. Taste the cream and if you think it needs more caster sugar then add it and beat it again.

Check your scones after 25 minutes. They should be nice and golden. If you tap them on the top they should have a nice satisfying drum sound.

To serve, place your scones in a tray and some jam and cream in serving bowls. Slice your scones in half, put on some jam and then cream. My favourite is raspberry, though blackberry is delicious too.

A few cups of tea with your scones and you will be supping with the Queen before you know it!

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