In some homes, in some parts of the world, scones are considered as essential to life as milk, butter, eggs, and bread. Scones are an excellent excuse (if you really need one) to enjoy Devon Cream. It is produced in Devon, Cornwall, and Somerset, England. It's a thick, rich cream that's made by scalding unpasteurized milk until a thick layer of cream rises to the top. Scones should NEVER be toasted. They should be cut in half lengthwise, spread with Devon Cream, then topped with strawberry jam. Cooks everywhere like to add their own personal touches: a handful of dried cherries, poppy seeds, almonds, raisins, or even chocolate.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and place a rack in the middle of the oven. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Use a large bowl to whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend it into the flour mixture using either a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.
Use a small measuring cup to combine the vanilla, the 1/2 cup of whipping cream, and one of the beaten eggs. Gradually add this mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Be careful NOT to overdo the mixing.
Knead the dough gently on a lightly floured surface, then roll or pat it into a circle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut this circle into eight triangular sections.
Make a mixture of one beaten egg and one tablespoon of heavy cream. Brush the scones with the mixture.
Place the scones on the parchment and put them in the middle rack of the oven. Cook for about 15 minutes or until they are a nice toasty brown color. Transfer to a wire rack.
Serve while still warm from the oven. Cut them in half horizontally, spread each half with Devon Cream, and place a dollop of strawberry jam on top.
Add 1/3 cup dried cherries at the same time that you mix the flour together with the wet ingredients.
Add 1/3 cup chocolate chips.
Add 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest and 1 tablespoon poppy seeds.
Add 1/3 cup raisins.
Add 1/3 cup, then use blueberry jam in place of the strawberry jam.
Add 1 tablespoon poppy seeds and use 1 teaspoon almond extract in place of the vanilla extract. Sprinkle the top of the scones with flaked almonds after brushing them with the egg mixture.