Cream tea has nothing to do with adding cream to your cuppa, though one might suspect.
It’s a lighter, sweet-twist on the classic British afternoon tea; consisting of tea taken with scones topped with clotted cream and jam – and a rightful institution it is!
For authenticity, the following must be abided by – scones should be warm, ideally freshly baked, and the cream always clotted – that being, silky, yellow cream with a distinctive surface crust – over whipped. As for the jam, strawberry is the cream tea reigning champion.
There are regional serving variations, and if you want to start a great debate query this in England. The Devonian method involves topping the scone with clotted cream THEN jam; while the Cornish method involves topping with jam THEN cream. Talk about a question to prod the bear!
My cream tea experience was in the Buckingham Palace gardens after a State Rooms tour (tea in a takeaway cup, sadly). As for the scone…Devonian method!