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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday Spotlight: Elise Chidley

Lady Evelyn’s Cream Scones

Lady Evelyn is Lizzie’s snobbish mother-in-law in Your Roots Are Showing. She likes to entertain, so that all the right people in Laingtree village—the vicar, the ‘weekend squires’ escaping from London to their country houses, the local doctor, the man who owns the independent book store—can take the opportunity to pay homage to her. She is, after all, the daughter of a duke.

When the weather is good, she likes garden parties. For one thing, it keeps people out of the house, where they have a distressing tendency to touch things, leaving fingerprints on the silver. For another thing, her roses are spectacular and deserve a bit of homage themselves.

She likes to provide traditional tea party spreads: cucumber sandwiches, hand-picked strawberries, and fresh scones.

She makes absolutely fabulous scones, but she has a secret: the laziest scone recipe in the world! Heaven forbid the ladies of the village’s Women’s Institute should find out.

Instead of messing around with eggs and butter, she simply uses heavy whipping cream. Here’s her closely-guarded recipe:


1 ¾ cups flour
2 ¼ tsps baking powder
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ cups heavy cream

Mix the dry ingredients with a whisk. Add the cream and mix in quickly with a spoon. Keep the dough as cool as possible by not handling it too much. Flour a surface and turn the ball of dough out onto it. Shape it into a circle and cut it into wedges. Place on an ungreased baking sheet, sprinkle with sugar, and bake at 450F for about 15 minutes, or until golden.

Add ¼ cup raisins for truly English scones.

Or add 3 tsps orange zest and ½ cup chocolate chips for a more decadent version.

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