Honey and Thyme British Style Scones

by Irvin on February 25, 2013 · 13 comments

Honey and Thyme British Style Scones by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

There’s a subplot in a Sex and the City episode where Samantha sneaks into the New York Soho House, an exclusive member’s only club, with a stolen membership car to gain access to their pool. Obviously things don’t end well in that episode for Samantha but I was rather oblivious to the exclusivity of the club until my childhood friend Maria explained to me what the club was, as we sat around drinking fresh mint and fresh ginger tea in the soft leather seats. Maria, a fashion designer, happened to be a member of the club and had invited me there to catch up while I was in New York. A lot has changed since we both fled the Midwest (her to London to study fashion, me to San Francisco) including Maria accent. So it took me a moment to get what she was talking about when she leaned in and asked me if I knew how to make cream for scones. The cream she was referring to was clotted cream and it’s actually pretty easy to make and I told her so. She seemed a bit incredulous, but it did get me thinking about British style scones, leading me to want to share with you my recipe for Honey & Thyme British Style Scones.

Honey and Thyme British style Scones by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

The difference between British scones and American scones are fairly superficial at first glance, but one of the absolute main differences is that American scones tend to be triangular shaped, or cut into wedges. The British scone is almost always circular or (on a rare occasion) rectangular. They look like American biscuits (which is totally confusing as British biscuits are American cookies or crackers. I know, it gives me a headache too). The American scones invariably are sweet, speckled with dried fruit and I certainly have a soft spot for them (check out my recipe for Earl Grey Cherry Scones with White Chocolate Glaze) but the British scone is significantly less sweet. An accompanying baked good to afternoon tea, the British scone seems to be there strictly as a vehicle for the clotted cream that my friend Maria so loves, as well as fruit jam, lemon curd or marmalade.

Honey and Thyme British style Scones by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

Now, being the typical American, there is no way that I can say my recipe for British scones is authentic. Certainly adding the honey and thyme to the recipe isn’t on the up-and-up. As I said before, a proper British scone is strictly there as a supporting role in afternoon tea. But it’s hard for me to not tinker with a recipe and you’ll find that this one isn’t nearly as heavy or sweet as the American scones encrusted with sugar on top that you’ll find at the ubiquitous coffee chains. Just cut them with a round biscuit cutter and they could almost pass for British, or at least I tell myself that. Either way, their a superb afternoon treat, with a cup of tea and a marathon session of Downton Abbey. As for the clotted cream, most people just buy it (if they can find it on the shelves), but, as I told Maria, it’s super easy to make and tastes loads better than the jarred stuff. Bounce over to my friend Stephanie’s site The Culinary Life to check out her stove top recipe for clotted cream which I use as I don’t own a crock pot and my cheap ass oven runs too hot to allow me to use the oven method.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar February 25, 2013 at 8:33 am

These look so fabulous. Awesome sounding scones!


Nancy@acommunaltable February 25, 2013 at 11:39 am

Now on the the next controversy – pronunciation! Is the vowel short or long? LOL!! Really enjoyed reading this post Irvin and I know I would adore your version of scones (short vowel!) which is similar to my Grandmother’s (well, except for the Honey and Thyme :-)). My all time favorite was her “tattie scones” – which were made with potatoes… oh my I can taste them now, dripping with butter… (sigh). Thanks for bringing back some very happy (and tasty!) memories!!


Heather February 25, 2013 at 1:08 pm

These look delicious! I adore Dan Lepard’s writing and recipes. As a New Zealander transplanted to California I have to say the only thing I’ve eaten here that tastes much like a New Zealand scone is an American biscuit. The scones available here are a lot like what my mother would have made and called “teacakes” – a scone dough, lightly sweetened and with the addition of dried fruit, cut into big wedges after baking patted out to a rough round shape. A little sugar was usually sprinkled on top prior to baking. This may add to the confusion!


angela@spinachtiger February 25, 2013 at 2:04 pm

I’m super into biscuit making (american) and I’m intrigued. I love scones but sometimes they are too cakey. This looks just right.


Chelsea February 25, 2013 at 7:36 pm

I love the roasting pan tip! What a brilliant idea.


Arthur in the Garden! February 26, 2013 at 4:49 am

Always yummy!


Jane February 26, 2013 at 5:39 am

In addition to the pronunciation controversy, which is discussed almost as much as the weather, there is another ever raging scone debate: do you spread your jam on top of the cream, or put cream on top of the jam? http://bakingforbritain.blogspot.co.uk/2006/07/scones-cream-and-jam-west-country.html
I don’t like jam so just settle for the cream, meaning I upset neither my Cornish nor my Devonian friends!


Laura March 4, 2013 at 8:48 pm

I LOVE plain scones/biscuits slathered in butter, but I agree, it is much more fun to tinker. And I am definitely intrigued by the sweet honey with thyme.


Nancy @ gottagetbaked March 11, 2013 at 10:24 pm

I love all scones, in any shape, size, or flavour. You just can’t go wrong with butter and flour. I used to buy one every day in my undergrad days until I wised up and found out how much fat was in each (especially since the ones I bought were always covered in sugar glaze). I love this flavour combination and thanks for the roasting pan tip. Brilliant!


Janice September 15, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Your scones look excellent and are certainly acceptably British. We also eat scones with cheese. In Scotland and I think the thyme would work particularly well for this. I prefer my scones just with butter, thanks for passing on the Dan Lepard tip. I have Short and Sweet but hadn’t noticed the roasting tin idea.


Irvin September 20, 2013 at 8:36 am

It has never occurred to me to eat them with cheese! Any particular type or kind? Cheddar? Softer Brie? Or maybe a spreadable Mascarpone? I’ll have to investigate. Thank you for the compliment!


Janice September 21, 2013 at 11:24 am

Well it would usually be cheddar but I guess any strong flavoured cheese would work. My husband also likes scones, cheese AND marmalade! It’s an aquired taste.


Don September 22, 2013 at 1:59 pm

You didn’t leave us your recipe for making clotted cream.


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