Almost as important as the tea is often what you pair with it. One popular treat to drink tea with is the scone, though there is much dispute how much cream and jam to put on the scone. Sometimes there’s too much cream, sometimes there’s too much jam, and sometimes it’s just not right. Well one scientist has found the perfect scone for your tea.
Dr Eugenia Cheng, of Sheffield University, claims to have developed a statistical formula for the perfect combination of jam, cream and scones. The mathematician concluded that the best weight ratio is 2:1:1, which means an average scone, weighing 70g, requires 35g of jam and 35g of cream. This equation also specifies the thickness of the cream and jam layers.
Debates over whether it should be jam first or cream, and whipped cream or clotted, have been running for generations, with references to this treat dating back to the 11th century. The Devon tradition is to slather the scone with cream first, while the Cornish – who also lay claim to inventing devonshire teas – prepare their scones the opposite way. Dr Cheng’s formula is a victory for Cornwall, with jam spread first due to avoid it running off the edge. Another rule in the scientific method is to use clotted rather than whipped cream. This is due to the excessive volume of whipped cream needed to satisfy the weight ratio – the thickness of the layer should not exceed that of the scone.
Dr Cheng said
“Building a good scone is like building a good sandcastle – you need a wider base, and then it needs to get narrower as it goes up so that it doesn’t collapse or drip”
That is how to make the perfect scone for your tea. Even if you aren’t carefully measuring out the correct ratio of cream to scone to jam or have never had scones with your tea before is a good guideline and great information to making that tea time that much better.