There is a lot of food you commonly see in anime - curry, rice, ramen, crepes. These things are ubiquitous. All well and good, but I have to confess, from a professional cook's standpoint, you can only make curry so many different ways before you get bored. In part, this is what makes anime great - not all anime takes place in Japan, so not all food is strictly Japanese. Thus, a lot of food from around the world comes into play with some semblance of regularity! Unfortunately, while these instances aren't rare, they certainly aren't common in anime in the way the favored foods of Japan are.
So, as you can imagine, I was pretty surprised when British scones with cream, jam, and tea turned up in the new anime Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor (yes, I did struggle to get that name right, thanks very much). I'd never seen scones in an anime before, and so I was intrigued. As for the show itself... I'm undecided on this anime so far. There was an exorbitant amount of fan service in the first episode that left me unimpressed, but everything changed when I laid my eyes on these little guys.
I mean, look at how good those scones look! I'm just saying, people really like fan service in the form of scantily clad girls, but this is the REAL fan service I'm asking for. Hot boys in swim suits? Forget it. Who cares when there's FOOD that looks 100x more tempting? The last time I was in the UK, my friends and I were treated to tea at Claridge's, a very, VERY fancy place to get tea in London. We were in such shock and awe at how delicious it was, we swore to go back one day. It was a life-changing experience I didn't dare to dream I would ever get the motivation to replicate. Imagine my glee at the chance to recreate yummy British scones with cream and jam in my own home!
I made these scones two ways - one gluten and sugar free, and the other with regular flour and sugar. My poor roommate, Sarah, has been very sick lately, and her doctors have forbidden her from eating gluten or fiber. I wanted to experiment with gluten-free flour, and I so I made a batch just for her, using a replacement that promised cup for cup exchange. This meant that I could trade out the gluten-free flour equally with the measurement called for in regular flour. This recipe calls for 2 cups flour, so I just used 2 cups of gluten-free flour.
I was surprised - the gluten-free scones were delicious and crumbly in just the right way. Sarah loved them! The only thing I was unimpressed with was the lack of rise on the scone. They didn't rise at all, which is why I made a second batch up with regular ingredients, to see if there was any improvement. Spoiler alert: there was some slight improvement, but nothing to write home about. I think, if you want tall poofy scones, your best option is to pat out the dough in a thicker circle to make them taller before they even get to the oven. All in all, though, this is a great recipe to make either gluten free or with normal flour, and I highly recommend giving it a try.
These are typically garnished with jam or preserves, and clotted cream. In America, it's quite hard to get your hands on clotted cream, which is made with unpasteurized milk. I found Devonshire cream in the specialty grocery store in town, which is a thicker cream sort of similar to clotted cream. It's not a perfect replacement, but it was the best I could get, so I went with it. If you can get your hands on clotted cream, though, I highly recommend it!
Watch the video below for full instructions!
Recipe adapted from here.
1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Sift together dry ingredients.
3. Work cold butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers until mixture is sandy.
4. Add milk all at once, and mix together until dough holds shape when pressed together.
5. Turn out and press into a 3/4 inch disc. Cut out 2 inch scones.
6. Bake for 10 minutes!
7. Garnish with clotted cream or devonshire cream and jam and preserves.