A few months ago, I started watching this series on Netflix called Shetland. A Scottish crime drama show based on the Shetland Islands. I devoured every episode and once I’d finished, was in a show hole. What would be next? What would I do with my evenings now, laundry? HA.
It took some research, as well as conversations with my buddy Dave (who also watched Shetlands) and discovered a British crime show called Father Brown. The episodes are inspired by the stories of GK Chesterton. Basically, Father Brown is the local priest who has an uncanny knack for figuring out murders in their town before the inspector does.
The first few episodes I wasn’t entirely involved, but eventually, the programming grew on me. Especially the fashion (mid 50s era) and the quaintness of the town. Of course, Father Brown, played by Mark Williams (aka: Ron Weasley’s Dad) captured my heart. I noticed in the first season, his trusty side kick, parish secretary Mrs. McCarthy, often had her “award winning scones” on hand. No one could resist them and I found myself pausing the television to get a closer look.
Those scones did look divine.
It became my mission to track down a recipe and recreate them. The only problem was, the only type of scone I’ve ever really eaten were the giant American variety with frosting and/or filled with chocolate chips. Mrs. McCarthy’s scones look like American biscuits. And there was another road block: clotted cream (or Devonshire cream, should you choose). Clotted cream is thick cream made by indirectly heating full-cream cow’s milk using steam or a water bath and then leaving it in shallow pans to cool slowly. From there, the “cream” rises to the top (I can’t type that line without saying it like Macho Man Randy Savage) and that’s what you put on the scones, along with the fresh strawberries.
I’m not even sure where you can get fresh full cream cow’s milk. I mean, I could probably get my hands on some of it back home in Tennessee, but here in Atlanta, I don’t have the same connections. So I put the scone dream on the back burner until one evening, I decided to simply Google it.
And you know what? There it was. Someone on the internet was feeling me. They understood the quirky addiction to Father Brown and the obsession with making those damn scones. After reading the recipe (which you can find HERE), I realized that the recipe wasn’t as difficult as I had originally thought.
For those of you who know me, you know that I’m not the greatest baker. My cookie skills are more along the lines of buying the prepackaged version at the grocery and baking them at home. My husband is the ultimate cookie baker, that’s for sure. Making homemade crusts for pies is lost on me, which of course, is why Pillsbury makes them for us. I remember when my husband and I were dating, I invited him over for dinner. Earlier that day, I tried to make a pie, which tasted like shit. I quickly ran out to the grocery and bought a Boston Creme Pie pie, which also tasted like shit. We still have a good laugh over it and any time we’re in the grocery and I see one, I’ll say, “Hey, you want me to pick this up for dessert?”
Yesterday morning I decided to make the scones. I woke up, did started some laundry and thought, “It’s time. I gotta know if these scones are any good.” I know that everyone cooks and bakes differently, but for me, I prefer to have all ingredients in front of me with the measurements already in place. It’s just easier for my brain to work that way and I’m sure there’s a fancy culinary school name for doing that- I’m just too lazy to look it up.
So I set off on my quest to make Mrs. McCarthy’s award winning strawberry scones.
The dough itself was simple to make and as the recipe states, more along the lines of an Irish scone- as Mrs. McCarthy is Irish, not English. I was able to make the dough in my food processor and it rolled out beautifully. I used a small glass to cut the dough, because we don’t own any cookie cutters. I baked them at 425 for 11 minutes and they were absolutely perfect.
The next step was making fresh whipped cream. The recipe calls for clotted cream, but I didn’t feel like warming up a gallon of milk in a 13×9 for 12 hrs to scrape what could be a disaster off the top. Maybe in the upcoming months, I’ll brave this task and report back on how delicious it is.
By eleven a.m., I was putting together my first scone. I used a bit of my mother in laws homemade strawberry preserves on the bottom, sliced up a strawberry, topped with whipped cream and then topped with a scone.
I took a moment to admire my handiwork and then promptly ate it. I took the time to appreciate how it all tasted. The light sweetness of the whipped cream, the tartness of the strawberries and the thick scones. It was, by far, the most delicious breakfast I’d had in awhile. Heh.
So without further ado, I give you the award winning strawberry scones! Let me know if you decide to make them or if you have your own favorite scone recipe! I’d love to try it!