My friend Ruby has recently moved to Australia. One of the things on the to do list before she left England was to have the quintessentially English experience of a cream tea. Unfortunately, this presents a slight problem when you are allergic to dairy. So I took on the challenge of making a dairy-free cream tea.
The scone part was easy – I just replaced butter with margarine – then added some blueberries to jazz things up a bit. However, trying to make something that vaguely resembles clotted cream without using anything that comes from a cow was more challenging. In the end, after lots of trawling through vegan food blogs, I stumbled upon the suggestion of using coconut milk. This, as it happens, makes relatively successful cream-like substance, when whipped and combined with margarine and more sugar than I would like to admit.
I ended up making two ‘creams’ – a one flavoured with vanilla, and a chocolate one, in an attempt to mask some of the coconut taste. The chocolate worked well with the blueberries, and with the plain Even though I’m devoted to clotted cream like only a Devonian can be, this cream tea was a much lighter, and I think equally delicious, alternative.
You’ll need a baking tray, greased with margarine, and a scone cutter.
Makes around 10
For the scones:
450g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp salt
100ml almond or rice milk
100g blueberries (reserve a handful for scattering over the top)
For the coconut cream:
1 tin coconut milk
3 tbsp honey/agave
1 tbsp cocoa (for chocolate cream, or leave it out for plain)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 220C. In a large bowl, rub the margarine into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and salt. Mix in the almond milk and the beaten egg, reserving a little for brushing the top. Carefully stir in the blueberries, and bring the mixture together in a dough. Roll out the dough until about 3cm thick, and cut into rounds with the scone cutter. Brush the scones with beaten egg, put on a baking tray, and bake for 15 mins, until golden brown.
For the coconut cream, whip the margarine, then add the coconut milk a little at a time, followed by the sugar and vanilla, until you have a smooth cream. Whisk in the cocoa powder (if using). Cut open a warm scone, spread with the cream, and top with more blueberries.