Thursday, 4 August 2011

Buttermilk Scones and Easy Strawberry Jam

My friend from work, Janet, recently announced that she is expecting her second child. Another colleague, Deanna and I thought it'll be nice to surprise her with a little congratulations party at work. So today we had some lovely treats to go with our afternoon tea or coffee.

Deanna baked some delicious red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting topped with edible red glitter. She also prepared some fruit kebabs made of strawberries, grapes and kiwis. Janet currently has cravings for salty food like pretzels and crisps, so we made sure there's plenty of that.

I cannot have afternoon tea/coffee without scones, so I baked a batch of Nigella's buttermilk scones. This is such an easy recipe. I measured out the dry ingredients last night and in the morning I just need to rub some butter and vegetable shortening, and mix in a tub of buttermilk to form a dough. Cut out into scones with fluted cutter and 12 minutes in hot oven... done, freshly baked scones.

With the scones, it's only right to have Cornish clotted cream and though I prefer a generous drizzle of golden syrup on top, today I went for a more traditional route and had strawberry jam... home-made strawberry jam.

It's true, you can buy perfectly decent strawberry jam from the store and it's quicker and cheaper, but you know, this feeling of smugness... is priceless. Nobody needs to know that it's so easy to make this jam.

Easy Strawberry Jam
Recipe by Ina Garten

3 pints fresh strawberries
3 cups superfine sugar (or use caster sugar)
2 tablespoons orange flavoured liqueur
1/2 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and small-diced
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Place strawberries in a colander and rinse them under cold running water. Drain and hull the strawberries. Cut the larger berries in half or quarters and leave the small berries whole. Place the strawberries in a deep, heavy-bottomed pot (I use le creuset) and toss them with the sugar and the orange flavoured liqueur.

Bring the berry mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Add the apple and blueberries and continue to keep the the mixture at a rolling boil, stirring occasionally for about 25 to 35 minutes. Skim and discard any foam that rises to the top. Allow the mixture to room temperature and then store covered in the fridge. It will keep for at least 2 weeks. To keep the jam longer, pack and seal in sterilised jars.  


  1. I saw a similar strawberries and scone recipe somewhere today and was staring at it for ages. These are so delicious! The whole thing looks so amazing- I have to try it!

  2. Strawberry jam and scone are a perfect breakfast treat...with a pot of freshly brewed tea!

  3. Ooooo...I like! I enjoyed cream tea in the UK, rich yummy scones. Drool!

  4. Michael, how lovely of you to throw a pre-baby shower party for your friend! I'd like to work at the same place as you so I can make up any excuse for a celebration with baked goodies (short of getting pregnant, of course!). These scones look like a breeze to make and that strawberry jam looks so luscious, so yes, you should be smug :-).

  5. Great story and I also cannot have afternoon coffee without a scone or piece of coffee cake, whats going on with us??
    Thanks for sharing..

  6. What a lovely treat for your colleague! I do love a good scone...haven't made Nigella's yet....but your's look like they have risen really high!!! yum yum yummy jam too! :)

  7. I think that was a wonderful thing to do for your co-worker! And what a great little treat too... LOVE homemade jams, although I never make them myself!! Will definitely have to change that.

  8. Ah English Summer and its awesome treat!
    I could just open a jar of that and say hello to a diabetic clinic. How could anyone resist strawberry, cream and scone!!

  9. so sweet of you and I love the buttermilk scone... heavenly! (oh and thanks for sharing that you used your le cruset... we'd have been lost without that!)

  10. gonna have to try that strawberry jam, sound amazing with the fruits in it... don't know what Cornish clotted cream is but it sounds absolutely delightful... I bet I will be in awe when I look it up...

  11. Michael-you are so thoughtful and caring! What a lovely gesture to make strawberry jam, with blueberries, and apples?!
    Love the recipe, and how yummy it is to spread it on scones or toast.
    Thank you for sharing...have a wonderful Sunday:DDD

  12. My next project is SCONE! I remember how easy strawberry jam is, when I watched it from Jme! I will be in UK for the whole month of Dec. See u hopefully and will email you if you can help me on some things :)

  13. What a wonderful way to surprise your colleague...scones with clotted cream and fresh jam, perfectly wonderful :)

  14. What a wonderful surprise, Michael!!! I miss clotted cream and jam spread on scones...Do you know any shortcuts on making clotted cream? That could be your next post.

    P.S- I'm back safely to MTL. Thanks for showing me around Newcastle and Edinburgh, and suggestion for places to eat in London... I went to Borough market, SO good :)

  15. These look fantastic Michael! I love how chunky your strawberry jam is! What a nice treat for your coworker!