Earl Grey Raisin Scones with Sticky Lemon Glaze | Downton Grub Files

Earl Grey Raisin Scones with Sticky Lemon Glaze from Foodie with Family


The body of this post and the printable recipe do NOT contain SPOILERS, however, I cannot make any promises about the comments section. If you are not caught up on Downton Abbey (Episode 1 of Season 3 as of this writing on January 12th, 2013), you may not want to read comments. I also ask -No, I BEG and PLEAD- that our friends overseas (or those who somehow saw all of Season 3 already) refrain from giving away what happens in any episodes past where I am!

Whoopsie! Forgot to include how MUCH cream in the ingredients list. It is fixed now!

I am an unapologetic anglophile from television programs to music to art to literature to food.

It is an idea that started with a simple question on the Foodie with Family facebook page…

“Are there any Downton Abbey fans here?”

In sixteen hours, more than seventy people ‘liked’ the post and there were twenty four comments. I knew I wasn’t the only mega Downton Abbey fan out there. Obviously. I hear internet chatter. I read newspapers. I see the news. I know it’s a big deal. What I didn’t know was how many Foodie with Family readers would be interested in me blathering on about how on Sunday the children are duct taped into bed after I rush home from taking my eldest to youth group at lightning speed just so I can see the Dowager Countess, Lady Grantham, Lady Mary, Sybil, Edith, week-ends, Mr. Bates and Anna, the abhorrent Thomas, Mr. Carson, Mrs. Hughes, Mrs. Pattimore, Daisy, Mrs. O’Brien, upstairs and downstairs, and lush costuming.

OH, THOSE COSTUMES. The dresses! The DRESSES, I tell you!!!!!!

Yes, I record it on the DVR, but if you have to ask that, you’re not getting my point. I want to watch it the very second it’s airing on PBS. I don’t want to wait one fraction of a second to get my weekly Downton fix.

More than I want to dress like Lady Mary, do something jolly with my hair like Edith, or just plain LOOK like Sybil from time to time, I want to be as witty, incorrigible and stalwart as the Dowager Countess Violet. Every time she speaks, I hush the imaginary people in the room with me. Imaginary, because I DO NOT allow anyone in the room with me lest they should talk over, wiggle, or otherwise interrupt my show.

My husband likes to sit in the other room with the door closed and laugh at me as I yell at the t.v. (Thomas, Mrs. O’Brien, and the former Mrs. Bates, I’m looking at you…), swoon (Oh hello, Lady Mary and Matthew, Anna and Mr. Bates. Yes. You all make my heart go pitter patter.), and otherwise sigh, moon, and mope when episodes conclude.  After listening to me watch the conclusion of Season 2, he asked, “Is that what I sound like when I watch football?” My response included something intimating that if football had dresses like that I’d watch it, too.

I was late to the Downton party because of a fun little personality quirk where I deliberately avoid trying anything large crowds of people love. Yeah. That’s working out really well… So far, I can add Harry Potter books, Downton Abbey, and So You Think You Can Dance to that list.* The ONLY advantage to having taken so long to discover the series (midway through Season 2) was that I got to park myself on the couch for an indecent amount of time and watch Season 1 in one sitting.

*To be fair to myself, I can also add the Twilight books, which -after reading- led me to conclude that my personality quirk might actually be useful in some ways. To quote Snorg Tees, “Real men don’t sparkle. Real men defeat dark wizards!”

I quickly discovered that I really couldn’t get through an episode of the show without something to eat since so much of it revolves around time spent at the dinner table or in the kitchen.  Since I love a good theme, I decided to stock myself with British Isles treats to nibble while slowly and inexorably becoming part of my furniture. And here’s where my idea came sidling in like Mr. Carson in the dining room.  Why not post a little of the grub I made to sustain myself during my Downton Abbey marathon sessions? Just as quickly as the thought was hatched, I could almost hear the Dowager Countess saying, “What IS grub?” The Dowager Countess is apparently my grammatical conscience.

Today is my first contribution to the Downton Grub Files and it’s a doozy; Earl Grey Raisin Scones with Sticky Lemon Glaze. These moist, flaky scones are packed with Earl Grey soaked raisins and a touch of lemon zest and topped with a sticky, absolutely, unequivocally un-Downton finger-licking, Sticky Lemon Glaze. Every time you bite into one of the juicy soaked raisins, you get a little subtle pop of Earl Grey tea. I’m pretty sure Mrs. Patimore would be a-okay with slurping the glaze from your fingers, so go for it.

Tune in every Saturday while Downton Abbey airs for a great new classic British fare recipe to eat while you watch on Sundays! Who’s your favourite on Downton? What moments made you GASP? Cry? Scream at the television? (Come on, I can’t be the only one who did it!)

Earl Grey Raisin Scones with Sticky Lemon Glaze | Downton Grub Files
Moist, flaky lightly lemony scones studded with Earl Grey soaked golden raisins are perfect to nibble while watching Downton Abbey or just because you can.
  • 1 cup golden raisins soaked in 1½ cups (12 ounces) hot, extra-strong Earl Grey tea for at least an hour
  • 4 cups (1 pound 1 ounce, by weight) all-purpose flour (preferably King Arthur all-purpose or Galahad flour.)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1 a stick of butter or 4 ounces by weight), very cold and cut into ¼-inch cubes, divided
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • zest of one lemon, divided
  • juice of one lemon
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Pour the raisins and tea into a fine mesh strainer and let drain thoroughly.
  3. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add about ½ of the cubed butter and work in with a fork, two knives, a pastry cutter or your fingers until the mixture resembles lentils. Add the remaining butter and work in, leaving some slightly larger pea sized -or even larger- flakes of butter.
  4. Add half of the lemon zest, and the drained raisins to the flour, then toss through gently until evenly distributed, taking care not to mash it in. Add 1½ cups of the cream, sprinkling it over the top, then tossing to combine. Pick up a small amount of the mixture and try squeezing it gently together. If it crumbles, or if there are dry crumbs in the bottom of the bowl, add more cream -1 tablespoon at a time- until you have a mixture that holds together as a shaggy dough when squeezed gently. Use a bench scraper or spatula to gently fold the dough in on itself until it forms a shaggy mass you can turn out onto a very lightly floured surface.
  5. Divide the dough in half and gently pat out the dough into two 7-8 inch discs that are about ¾ of an inch thick. Carefully transfer the discs to a parchment lined baking sheet. Use a bench knife or Chef's knife to cut each disc into 8 wedges, cutting straight down and not sawing back and forth to help it rise higher in the oven. Gently separate the wedges so there is a little space between them.
  6. Whisk together the remaining lemon zest, the lemon juice and the sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Lightly brush the tops of the unbaked scones with the glaze.
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the scones are puffy and golden brown on top.
  8. Spoon any leftover glaze on the hot scones and spread it over the tops. Let cool 'til comfortable to handle!


  1. Judy in CA says

    What a brilliant idea!! Tomorrow night, scones and Downton Abbey!!! Oh, and my favorite character is the Dowager Countess, and my least favorite is Thomas.

  2. Jess says

    I notice that you call for cream in the recipe but it is not listed in the ingredients list. Is is 1.5 cups of heavy cream?

  3. Christine says

    What cream?! Did i miss something? I have this halfway done! There was no cream in the list! Can I use whole milk? I have the condensed milk you specified, but what cream? Panicking!

    • says

      I’ve emailed you, Christine! I’m sorry I missed that on my double-check of the recipe. It is indeed 1 1/2 cups of cream and you CAN use whole milk. It won’t be as rich, but it can be done! I’ve fixed the recipe to reflect what it should’ve said in the first place!

      • Christine says

        Glad to hear it! I had invested my special raisins from Istanbul so had no choice but o calm down and go fwd with whole milk. They are in the oven…. And I am trying hard not to eat that leftover glaze with a spoon. I almost put them in without it, lucky catch. Too much distraction with dismaying football games! Will post when we get to eating!

  4. Rie says

    Love Earl Grey….This is going on my “to-bake” list. I haven’t yet seen “DA”. I know that people rave about it. I am one of those that likes to see things from the beginning. I think I will have to finally subscribe to Hulu-Plus so I can view past episodes first.

  5. says

    i watched season three alone, quite naughtily. now i suffer through with the people in my house. it’s pennance, likely, for watching it early in the first place. i despise thomas and o’brien, but i love how wicked they are to each other. also, i will tell you only slightly in advance if you are going to need a stack of hankies, and only if you want. supposing something utterly dreadful was going to happen. supposing.

  6. TiffH says

    I really need these! Wish I would have checked saturday so I could have eaten these last night with the show. I wish it were 2 hrs every week, sigh. But last nights episode was sooooooo good. Can’t wait till next Sunday, and for your next DA inspired recipe!

  7. says

    I am so guilty of loving Downton Abbey. I guess I’m just a sucker for pretty dresses and soap opera plots disguised as historical fiction.
    Yes, I know it plays fast and loose with historical accuracy, that they have this bizarre habit of skipping over vast stretches of time without actually acknowledging that anything happened during the six months that passed since the last episode, and that none of the characters actually look the appropriate age (seriously, they didn’t even *try* to make Sybil look 17 in season 1… by those standards, I could pass for 25 in Downtownland.) I don’t care.
    Love these scones, too. The combination of earl grey and raisins sounds perfect!
    PS: Your little aside about football had me picturing burly football players in Lady Mary’s evening gowns. It’s not very pretty at all, though I suspect it would be terribly entertaining. :)

  8. Kristin says

    Loved the scones last night….my English husband however who was in charge of reading it to me as we had time together without the children awake (gasp!) Said and do not blame me for his language….those with sensitive ears beware….
    “OH BLOODY HELL! They are just American biscuits!” Ohhhhhhhhhhhh….this is as I’m delicately trying to make them just perfect. Ok, to some degree I guess he had a point….after all he had lived there until not that long ago….That did not cheer me though…not until he couldn’t keep those sticky hands out of them as we say gripped to the tv did I sit rather happily.
    now tonight, he is out…and I am”testing” his just American theory. Bisquick style. Lol. With just a few changes, I added the sugar and lemon and earl grey raisins…for the first half and put chocolate chips in the second half. yes I’m horrid. So far the 3year old loves the one I shared lol. I’ll let you know…..

  9. Kristin says

    Your scones certainly out shone my biscuit version….but they both turned out quite well….I would say…if you’re in a true pinch…the second way would work…just not nearly as flakey and reporting as yours !

  10. Connie says

    It is nice to know that I am not the only one who loves the dresses, hair styles and don’t forget the castle.. Gorgeous. I think I have my husband hooked. Yea.

    • says

      Chocolate chips are always good, but so are dried cranberries (you could soak THOSE in Earl Grey, too)… I’m not one of those folks who is super huge on the lemon/chocolate combo, so I might nix the lemon zest in the scones and the lemon in the glaze. I’d replace it with orange because I DO love orange/chocolate.

  11. says

    Oh. My. So much wonderfulness in one spot!!!!!!!!!!!! I know what I’m doing at naptime today!
    We don’t have tv, but I can catch the DA episodes on Mondays on-line at PBS. Best start soaking those raisins…

  12. kathy ressler says

    love the site. am looking for a lemon scone using lots of lemon juice and lemon rind. i made them with chopped almonds and sour cream and can’t find the recipe. although i have made many others than didn’t compare. i am always baking scones and giving them away (after i have one or two). now i have a food processor. i always used my fingers for the butter incorporation but now i think i will cheat.


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