Today, like most others, I sat down with a pot of tea, opened my shiny silver laptop, and immersed myself into literary deliciousness. I usually start with my favorites, and when my finger gently clicks the mouse to close the last page, I start looking for more. Ones that will catch my eye and draw me in. Ones that immediately draw my attention, whether it be the style of writing that makes me feel as though I'm there, in the kitchen, or mouth watering recipes that I add to my list, or the beautifully orchestrated pictures that inspire me to get out my camera and start taking pictures. I am inspired by colorful creations, I will drool over chocolate, cheese, and butter, and almost always laugh along, knowing that I'm not the only person who will over beat a meringue, drop my lemon tart on the ground, and come home to a furry beast eating a dozen doughnuts that took me the whole afternoon to make.
This morning was extra special, because I was able to sit down with my pot of tea and enjoy a warm, sweet, buttery tea biscuit topped with creamy butter, and a dollop of strawberry rhubarb jam, while reading my morning favorites. I was quickly reminded of that summer I spent frolicking amongst the lakes and the fells that make up most of northern England, where I fell in love with scones, jam, and cream.
[Disclaimer - to the best of my knowledge, scones and tea biscuits are the same thing. I use these two words interchangeably.]
makes 15 large
4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 tbsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
4 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup raisins
zest from one orange
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed, chilled
1 3/4 cup 1% buttermilk
2 tbsp milk for brushing
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
2. In a small bowl, place the raisins with enough boiling water to cover. Let sit for 5 minutes then discard the water. Set to the side.
3. Cut the butter into tiny cubes and place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
4. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar.
5. Add the raisins and orange zest and combine.
6. With a pastry cutter or your hands, work the butter into the flour until the butter is the size of tiny peas, no smaller. Stir in the buttermilk until all the ingredients are wet. Do not handle the dough too much.
7. Place the dough onto a floured counter and roll out an inch thick. With a glass or cookie cutter, cut out the biscuit shapes and place onto a cookie sheet. Line the biscuits so that they are all touching.
8. Brush the tops with milk and bake for 15 minutes. Remove form the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Serve with butter, jam, and cream.