The other type of scone
March 17, 2019 10:59 AM   Subscribe

When I was a kid in California ('80s/'90s), some cafés had a type of "scone" that was dome-shaped and relatively smooth, with a tender crumb and almost a skin (and usually berries or chunks of fruit mixed in). This is in contrast to the probably more authentically British style that is more rough and nubbly and dry. Same genus, different species. Both have a similar baking powder tang.
Anyone know what I'm talking about? And if so, do you have a recipe for the kind I'm remembering?
posted by aws17576 to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
This kind? If so, "fluffy" scone seems to be the useful search term.
posted by terretu at 11:05 AM on March 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Ah, terretu, that helps. I searched for "fluffy scones" and found these, which look about right in the photo. I'm now more confused than ever about what kind of scone comes from where, but I have some recipes to try. Will keep this Ask open though.
posted by aws17576 at 11:14 AM on March 17, 2019

Cream scones?
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:44 AM on March 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Hot cross bun? Teacake? Both are yeasted though. Welsh cake almost? Never heard of a queen cake but found it in a list and that's quite scone-ly.
posted by lokta at 11:51 AM on March 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

I do think it's just good scone vs bad (e.g. stale) scone! Maybe some people really do consider tough crumbly scones perfect though.
posted by lokta at 11:54 AM on March 17, 2019

The description reminds me of what would be referred to as a "tea cake" in the South, even though the photos look more like cookies than others I've seen.
posted by Selena777 at 12:59 PM on March 17, 2019

Based on being a relative to the scone I did wonder if you were talking about something called a “tea cake”.

But I discovered teacake is different depending on where you are. I was thinking of:

NZ tea cake - like a scone but sweeter. But we seem to have diverged.

But in the UK a tea cake is more breadlike - like a Chelsea bun - which Yorkshire looks to be the master of.

And the quite by chance I happened upon an American tea cake from the South which looks rather lovely.

This is classed by the author as a biscuit which - without wanting to reopen old wounds (Jaffa cake) I think is a fair description of a scone. (I think biscuit is a broad church)
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 1:03 PM on March 17, 2019

Sounds like a well made British scone to me. Scones in England are much more like fluffy American biscuits, while scones in the US are these hard, sad, stale, dry lumpy things that make no sense. Particularly when we obviously know how to make tasty fluffy biscuits in the US.
posted by pazazygeek at 1:35 PM on March 17, 2019 [5 favorites]

Look into the different types of flour perhaps ... I'm thinking maybe american all-purpose results in the more biscuit-like crumb (even given good mixing technique), maybe subbing in some cake flour will result in a lighter, silkier result.
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 1:43 PM on March 17, 2019

I know exactly what you're talking about! Well, I think so -- is it these? Tea Biscuits

Googling for tea biscuit recipes isn't throwing up anything perfect, but this looks like a good start -- rolled very thick and with an egg white wash to make it shiny?

(Also, a sincere thank you for posting this question. Assuming I'm on the right track, I also remember these from being little, and I miss them badly.)
posted by kalimac at 3:14 PM on March 17, 2019

Oh, wait, this looks even closer: raisin tea biscuits
posted by kalimac at 3:15 PM on March 17, 2019

Could it have been an oat-flour-based scone rather than wheat flour?
posted by heatherlogan at 4:31 PM on March 17, 2019

My Whole Foods used to sell what seems similar to your ask - cream biscuits. I hate scones, but I loved those.
posted by greermahoney at 5:21 PM on March 17, 2019

Your description makes me think of Welsh tea cakes.
posted by Pizzarina Sbarro at 6:08 PM on March 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Trust Delia on what British people consider to be scones. (Welsh cakes are in that domain, though they're girdle/griddle scones rather than baked ones.)

The "skin" part tends to come from an egg wash.
posted by holgate at 6:14 PM on March 17, 2019

I think you have it backward in the question. True British scones are more like what you described - with a tender crumb - rather than the dense triangular monstrosities generally sold by American cafes as scones.
posted by peacheater at 7:27 PM on March 17, 2019 [5 favorites]

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