As England wakes up after a week of royal celebrations following the weekend’s momentous Diamond Jubilee, Australia prepares for its own mark of regal respect (or perhaps just weekend away) with the Queen’s Birthday June long weekend.
Sure, any self-respecting monarchist knows her actual birthday is in April, but hey, there’s no need to get too specific. The point is, we love our public holidays down under and this one – as we roll the pseudo-birthday and 60 years at the throne into one – feels extra special, for monarchists at least.
In just a little over a year, Chez Dré has become one of Melbourne’s favourite spots for a sweet treat. Patisserie chef and owner Andrea Reiss has worked in Paris and London and brings her expertise to the many amazing sweets on offer. For the Dré team scones are for special occasions, so to celebrate the Queen’s Birthday and Jubilee they’re baking innumerable batches of good old traditional scones, served with their house-made, orange blossom water-infused, raspberry jam and Tasmanian clotted cream. They’ll only be available from Friday until Monday both in the cafe, but also in handy take away packs of three scones with jam and cream included.
At Broadsheet, we can’t think of a finer way to pay our respects than to crack open a freshly baked scone and brew a pot of English tea.
The Chez Dré team let us in on three crucial tips for the perfect batch, and gave us a recipe:
- Use a plain flour and baking powder mix, as opposed to self raising flour as it has much less gluten, which will keep your scones light and fluffy.
- Don’t over work your dough as it will make your scones tough and rubbery.
- Don’t soften your butter. Cold butter makes scones rise higher.
So let’s quash our republican ambitions, at least momentarily, while we honour this corgi-loving monarch, who has not only endured turbulent political times, but an implosive family and gaffe-laden husband, to become England’s longest reigning Queen.
Chez Dré Traditional plain scones
Makes a dozen
500g plain flour
1 ½ tbsp baking powder
pinch of salt
125g unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
50g caster sugar
75g natural yoghurt
egg yolk and a pinch of salt for glazing
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a flat baking tray with greaseproof paper. Sift together flour, sugar and baking powder, add salt. Using fingertips, rub in chilled butter to form a crumb like texture.
Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, add the yoghurt and mix. Create another well in the centre and slowly pour in the milk. Working quickly, take the flour into the centre using a knife to make thick, sticky dough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured bench, fold it a few times and gently flatten the dough out with your hands to a thickness of approximately 2.5cm.
Cut into rounds with a 6cm scone cutter. Turn the scones over to give them a nice flat top and place them on the prepared tray approximately 2.5cm apart and brush with egg yolk glaze. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool slightly.
Serve with raspberry jam and clotted cream.
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