In Cornwall, a cream tea was traditionally served with 'Cornish Splits' rather than scones. Cornish splits are little yeast-leavened bread rolls, they are split when still warm and first buttered, then spread with jam before topping it with a generous dollop of clotted cream. Sometimes Treacle would be used instead of jam, this combination goes by the name of a 'Thunder and lightning' and although I'm not a big fan of treacle straight from the tin, it tasted -and the name sounded- rather good!
The splits are only baked for a short while and when removed from the hot oven, the little warm splits are then piled up in a tea towel, rubbed with a little butter before being covered by another tea towel so they don't develop a crust.
I haven't found any earlier reference to a Cornish split than the receipt in on of my favourite books 'Good things in England' published in 1932 by Florence White, a delightful collection of 853 regional English recipes dating back as far as the 14th century.
With findings of evidence at Tavistock Abbey in Devon it is believed that the tradition of eating bread with cream and jam existed in the 11th century. In Devon a similar bun is served with cream and jam, going traditionally by the name of a Devon Chudleigh as noted by Florence White and Elisabeth David Chudleighs are made the same manner as the Cornish split, only smaller. Devonians however tell me that the 'Devon split' -as it is called now- is in fact a lighter and more luxurious white bun rather than heavy scone-like bread as the Cornish version.
The Cornish split is a rare treat these days but as they are best eaten while still a little warm from the oven, you get the best split by baking them at home.
I am still pinching myself, to be a finalist and especially to be selected by the judges in this respected international competition is a great honor. The other four blogs that are nominated have all been blogging quite a while longer than I have and are all gorgeous.