One of the biggest events of the year here in Western Washington is the Puyallup Fair (Pew-allup not Pooyallup). For many, going to the fair is an annual tradition, but I've lived in Seattle for almost 10 years and have never gone. Steven says he can't remember ever going either and isn't particularly interested in it. I guess it's just not our thing, not to mention we have to drive nearly an hour, assuming there's no traffic, to get there. But last year I was really tempted to go, not because I felt like I was missing out on the quintessential fair experience, but for the scones. I had read an article in the Seattle Times about the Fair's most popular and famous food item, the Puyallup Fair scones. People will wait in line for almost an hour, maybe longer, for these buttered and jam smeared scones, and many buy a dozen or dozens to stock up on. So naturally, I wondered what the big fuss was all about. But Steven and I weren't gonna drive all the way down there, pay admission, and wait in line just for a scone.
In the end, we never did make it to the fair last year. Plus, Steven was skeptical, how can a scone be that good? Aren’t scones bone dry, tasteless, and usually served with tea because you need something to wash it down? Then the other day I found a half pint of heavy cream that had hit the sell by date. Don’t worry it wasn’t opened and it didn’t smell funky so I couldn't just let it go to waste. I thought why not try making some cream scones. So what’s the difference between a biscuit and a scone aside from shape (round vs. wedge) and country of origin (American vs. Scottish)? Well, to be honest, I don't really know. The lines are kinda fuzzy but for the most part a biscuit is eaten with savory foods like gravy or fried chicken (or both... mmm mm!) whereas scones are sweeter and paired with tea. Meh, technicalities don't matter, as long as it tastes good!
Oh man did the scones smell good when they were baking! When you think about it, how can something with heavy cream and butter not be delicious? After they came out of the oven, I couldn’t resist and immediately broke off a corner to taste test, you know, for quality control. They were so rich and tender and were hands down, absolutely the best scones I've ever had. After waiting anxiously for the scones to be cool enough to handle, I split one in half and smeared it with butter and homemade blackberry jam. Yummmm... Steven and I are now scone converts. Are these scones better than the ones from the fair? I can't say for sure since I've never had the ones at the fair. I'm gonna say yes because after reading the article more closely, the scones are made from a mix with water! Not heavy cream! On the other hand, the Fair Scones do come with the whole package, the mooing cows in the background or whatnot. But it's good to know I don't have to wait all year then drive an hour to get a good scone when I can make it in my kitchen.
2 C all purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2 in cubes
2 Tbsp honey
1 C heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 400 deg F and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Using a pastry cutter, two forks, or your hands, rub the butter in the flour until it's pebbly (or you can use a food processor and pulse the butter in the flour a few times).
Whisk the honey with the cream and pour this into the dry ingredients. Fold the cream into the flour, at first it will be sticky, and bring the dough together with your hands without overworking it.
Lightly flour a work surface and turn the dough out. Form the dough into a round disc then roll it out until it is about 7 inches in diameter. Cut the dough into 8 pieces (first in half, then quarters, then each quarter in half into eighths). Transfer each wedge onto a baking sheet and bake for about 18 - 22 minutes, or until their tops are golden.
Let them cool for 10 minutes and spread with butter and jam. For an extra special treat, mix some honey into softened butter before smearing on your scone, just like the honey butter at the Fair.
Store in an airtight container and they're great the next day warmed in the microwave or toaster oven.