Being a vintage cookbook collector is a bit like any hobby--it starts off reasonable, maybe one book here or there, on a topic of interest. But a few years in, it's obvious that your hobby is a bit more of an obsession. I have run out of shelf space, my husband has ineffectively put a moratorium on any new old books, and I have an arcane organizational system, based on regional cuisine. I'm officially hooked. The books by Louis P. De Gouy make up a substantial percentage of shelf space, and with good reason--they're brilliant. Written with the passion and love of a true nerd, it's obvious that De Gouy enjoys eating as much as cooking.
One recipe has always eluded me: perfect scones. I grew up eating Australian-style scones (my mom and nana are both Aussies), which are quite different from their American cousins. American scones (rhymes with "owns") are basically muffin tops. Sweet with a nice crumbly texture. Australian scones (rhymes with "hans") are barely sweet (that's what the jam is for!) with a delicate, ephemeral texture. I had a very specific flavor and texture in mind, but could never quite get it right. One day I was flipping through my vintage cookbook collection and came across De Gouy's scone section in "The Bread Tray." My eyes immediately went to "Cream Scones II." Rich and with only a few teaspoons of sugar, these seemed like just the thing. I made some adjustments to lighten the texture, and here we have a perfect Aussie scone. Make sure to have several jars of your favorite jam ready--an entire plate will easily disappear. They're remarkable easy to freeze too (I freeze the cut-out dough for on demand scones)!
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter into the dry mixture using a pastry cutter (or very quickly with your fingertips). Add the cream and the eggs, stirring together into a dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into an 8- to 9-inch-wide, 1/2-inch-thick circle. Cut into 8 triangles. Spread the triangles across the tray. Bake until toasted on the bottom and lightly golden on top, 15 to 20 minutes.