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Mary's Tavern

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Friday Feast | Gin, Scones, and a Birthday

The Tavern is closed, my friends. Today is my birthday, and it's the only time of the year where I do whatever I want. Since I turned 40 eons ago, I've always taken this day off. I celebrate another year of turning older and do absolutely nothing. Usually, the morning starts with a walk or bike ride after my favorite breakfast of Cranberry Orange Scones with Devonshire cream, strawberries, and a strong cup of coffee (tea is for later in the afternoon).

As you can see in the above photo, I've discovered this lovely bottle of Highclere Castle Gin. Most of the botanicals come from the estate on Highclere, and the Gin is distilled at Langley Distillery in England. So instead of my celebratory Guinness tonight, I'm going to have a cocktail featuring this Gin. To learn more, click HERE.

In addition, I follow the blog of Lady Carnarvon at Highclere and was delighted to hear about their adventure into making Gin. To find out more, click HERE to see what's happening at Highclere Castle.

I've shared my recipes for scones and the Devonshire cream, but for those who are new to my blog, I've decided to repost here.

Until next Friday, smile and spread the love. And for those who celebrate, have a lovely Easter!




2/3 cup heavy cream

1 large egg

3 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut up

1/2 cup fresh, frozen, or dried cranberries

½ cup sugar

2 teaspoons freshly grated orange peel (I use the peel of one medium orange)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Measure heavy cream in a 2-cup glass measure; beat in egg with a fork.

Put flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk or stir to mix well.

Add the 8 tablespoons butter and cut in with a pastry blender or rub in with your fingers, until the mixture looks like fine granules.

Add cranberries, sugar, and orange peel; toss lightly to distribute evenly.

Add heavy cream mixture. Stir with a fork until a soft dough forms.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured board and give 6 to 10 kneads, just until well mixed.

Form dough into a ball; cut into 8 wedges.

Form each wedge into a ball and place on an ungreased cookie sheet, or slipat.

Bake 20 minutes, or until light brown. Remove to a wire rack.

NOTE: Feel free to tweak or leave scones as wedges instead of forming into a ball. I used to use buttermilk in the original recipe, but I’ve found that heavy cream makes for a softer scone inside.

MOCK DEVONSHIRE CREAM (A lovely substitute for clotted cream)


½ cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

½ cup sour cream


Using a chilled bowl, beat cream until medium-stiff peaks form.

Add the powdered sugar in the last few minutes of beating.

Fold in sour cream and blend.


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