Last summer, I gave up going abroad and took a staycation in Cornwall. Apart from one gorgeous, glinting day, it rained and blustered and blew, and I loved it. There I was, with a fire burning inside, the mackerel-coloured sea swirling outside, living off the fat, that's to say, the clotted cream of the land. If you can't find clotted cream (sometimes called Devonshire cream) then feel free to lavishly spoon softly heavy whipped cream onto the scones instead. The buttermilk in these scones only gives them a slight tang, all the better to enjoy the jam and cream on top, but is also what yields such a melting, tender crumb. These scones do look a bit like they are suffering from cellulite (though I dare say we all might, if we ate too many of them), but proper scones should not have the smooth-sided denseness of the store-bought variety. And they are so worth making. Until you have made a batch of scones you won't have any idea how easy they are to throw together. Frankly, it shouldn't take longer than 20 minutes to make and bake them, from start to finish. Even though the process is hardly lengthy enough to warrant cooking them in advance, I like to make up quite a big batch - and this recipe will give you about 18 scones - and freeze some (they thaw incredibly quickly) to produce a near-instant cream tea at some future date.
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