Scone With the Wind at Brixton Village
Brixton on a sunny Saturday morning is something that can’t really be described. It has to be seen, smelt, tasted and heard to really understand it. As you step off the tube and wander towards Brixton Village you’re confronted by TFL workers embracing and laughing as they take over from each other on shifts, 90s R’n’B blaring out of an enormous butchers where queues of people are lining up for chops, gospel music and shouting as preachers attempt to inspire those passing by, rows and rows of fresh shiny fish gleaming from their chilly crushed ice beds, traders clamouring for attention from the market stalls in a souk-like manner, cats of all different colours and temperaments slipping in and out of stalls and shops, edgy girls in flatforms and dip-dyed hair who look as though they got lost on the way to Shoreditch putting the world to rights over a fairtrade organic soy latte courtesy of a pop-up coffee joint. Tambourines and laughter, shouting and beats, scraping and clattering as giant pots bubbling with street fodder are stirred.
It was with a SONG IN MY HEART therefore that I arrived at the latest venture of scone maker extraordinare Jennie Davies. With a cookbook dedicated entirely to the art of scone making already under her belt, Jennie has now taken her bun-like beauties to the streets of London at her own stall every month at Brixton Market.
Jennie greeted us with a slight glazed look in her eye as she surveyed her lovely little stall laughing “I’ve only had an hour and a half sleep. I’ve never baked so many scones in one go before.” But this is absolutely a labour of love. Varieties on sale this month included Gruyere and Garlic, Triple Ginger, Cinnamon Swirl and of course, the traditional scone (served with jam and cream).
And holy smoke were they delicious. Buttery and doughy and moist. The garlic packed an excellent punch, the ginger beer that is added to the ginger scones tickled my tongue and the cinnamon was better than any dull old Danish I’ve ever tasted.
Who knew a humble scone could be so blooming versatile! I asked Jennie how she came to be such a Sconnoisseur (HAH!) and she replied, “I was just at work one day not doing very much (cut to me nodding in agreement) and I just started thinking about how much I liked scones.” I mean, I hear ya sister. My love of this baked beauty sometimes is all I can think about. She went on explaining how she wanted to see what happened if you rolled a scone dough out flat. “I rolled it out, and added feta, spinach and pine nuts, then rolled it all back up again to make a sort of cheesy spinach scone whirl.” (Drool is running out I my gob at this point FYI.) “Soon there were 20 recipes, then 50 and now there’s about 90!”
Well chuffing ‘ell who’d have thunk it? Just when the whole of Britain has gone bake-off barmy with Charlotte Royales and Isles Flottantes being bandied about like medals, Davies is here to remind us that sometimes the old ones are the best. Regardless if whether you think it’s pronounced scONN or scOHne get yourself down to Brixton market on the first Saturday of every month to sample Jennie’s wares. But BE QUICK or else they’ll be scone in 60 seconds. (Hahahahahahahahahaha sorry I couldn’t resist).
If you’d like to try your hand at concocting some of Jennie’s Scone creations, her book Fancy a Scone? is available from Amazon here or tweet her for baking tips at @jenniemaydavies.
Nearest tube: Brixton