Writers’ cream tea

It was the last session of my creative writing class today, so to celebrate we had a typical west country cream tea, a Somerset cream tea! The essential thing is tea, scones, clotted cream and jam.

I made ordinary scones (8 oz s/r flour, 2 oz butter, 2 oz sugar, pinch of salt, mixed to a soft dough with ¼ pint milk and one egg) and because one of our group is diabetic I also made cheese scones (6 oz s/r flour, 1½ oz butter, 3 oz grated strong Cheddar, 1 level tsp (or more) of dry mustard, 1 egg beaten with 2 tbsp milk) and because another of our group is coeliac I made for the first time ever, gluten-free scones (8 oz gluten-free s/r flour, 1 level tsp gluten-free baking powder,1 ½ oz butter, 1 ½  oz sugar, ¼ pint milk and one egg, mix to a very, very soft and rather sticky dough, plop onto a greased baking sheet using an ice-cream scoop) All of these scones cook at the same temperature of gas mark 7, 220º C, 425ºF, for about 15-20 mins.

P1020572Ordinary Victoria scones, no added fruit… I think I rolled the dough too thin; they were very tasty but rather flat. I glazed them with beaten egg. We ate them with raspberry jam and cream (and I think some people had butter as well!

We were talking today about writing biographies and autobiographies, and how to make a life story spring off the page and not be a dull trawl though facts and figures, dates and relationships; how to make family stories as alive to the reader as it was when we were told them. I was very impressed with the results, and I think we were all inspired by how we could do more.


Cheese scones, topped with extra cheese! Really delicious, especially split and eaten with lots of real full-fat butter!

The task for our next meeting, in September, is to think about a favourite or influential book and either write something which shows how our writing has been influenced by the author or the book itself, or something inspired by it, or something about the book – a critique or personal response maybe.


Gluten free scones, my first attempt at baking with gluten-free flour and it was a great success! I dusted them with sugar before i baked them – and only afterwards read that I should have glazed them with milk/egg. They looked great anyway, very rustic as they had to be dolloped onto the baking tray rather than cut out with a pastry cutter.


  1. David Lewis

    Is dolloped a real word or did you invent it? I like the way it sounds though. Don’t you dollop dumpling dough into the stew? My dumplings never turn out right cause maybe I didn’t do my dolloping right.


    1. Lois

      Now a Devonshire cream tea is where you put the cream on the scone first and then the jam, a Cornish cream tea has jam then cream… and as for Somerset where I live, well, I have no idea! Maybe it’s Somerset strawberries and cream!


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