THE BRITISH do not eat what they are famous for. Trust me. My postbag bulges with recipes when we put out calls for curry, tomato or asparagus treatments. But when we seek ideas for something almost as British as the Queen, such as afternoon teas, the post is almost all press releases.

A fair guess would be that tea went out with servants. This is a pity, because a well-timed tea can take the edge off hunger on a long summer afternoon; it can absorb the gin and tonic that will follow shortly; but, most of all, it can be delicious.

The recipe below is for scones. Not any old scones, but 'Granny's scones' as submitted by Caroline Jones of Bristol. She writes: 'My granny told me real scones don't use fat, should be mixed only briefly and eaten the same day. Without fat, they have a different texture, an earthy taste.' A sensible dictum. These scones contain no fruit, either, making them suitable for cheese or jam. Ms Jones eats them with the salted butter her grandmother preferred, berry jam or lemon curd; she also recommends fromage frais. She will receive a handsome 1lb tin of Darjeeling Best from the Algerian Coffee Stores in London.


Serves 6-8

Ingredients 3 teacups (12oz/340g) plain flour, plus several tbs for dusting tin and work surface

3 level tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sugar

1 teacup (8fl oz/235ml) warm milk, plus extra for brushing scones

butter to grease tin

Preparation Preheat oven to 220C/ 425F/gas 7. Grease baking tin, then lightly dust with flour. Sieve together dry ingredients, mixing well. Add milk. Mix with knife or spatula until it leaves the side of the bowl. Lightly flour work surface and turn out dough. Shape into square until 2in thick. Cut into good-sized squares with end of a sharp spatula and turn on to baking tin. Brush with milk, put in oven, reduce to 200C/400F/gas 6 and bake 15-20 mins, until golden. Cool on wire rack and serve.

Next week, the last of the teas. Entries are welcome for pates, vegetarian or meaty. Send to: Emily Green, Recipe, Weekend, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB. The prize will be a bottle of Alain Brumont's Pacherenc du Vic Bilh Octobre 1991, a late-picked Jurancon-style wine from Reid Wines, near Bristol.