2. Cheese Scones

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    8

    large scones

Appears in

Scottish Baking

Scottish Baking

By Sue Lawrence

Published 2016

  • About

My friend and colleague, Stephen Jardine, always says of a cheese scone: ‘It’s just plain wrong!’ He simply doesn’t get them. His assertion is that a scone should be served with butter and jam and is an inherently sweet thing. Even when I suggest serving a buttered cheese scone with soup in winter or a salad in summer, he winces. I could not disagree more about the merits of a freshly-baked cheese scone.

The variations on this basic recipe are endless. Add some finely chopped herbs (chives, thyme or oregano are good), a teaspoon of dried mustard or a few shakes of cayenne pepper to the mix. You can also cut the scones into tiny little rounds and serve them as canapés, split and topped with cream cheese or soft goats’ cheese and then a sliver of smoked salmon, or roasted red pepper – or a halved cherry tomato . . .

They are infinitely versatile: and, when that amazing aroma of warm savoury scone permeates the whole house, how could they possibly be ‘wrong’?

Ingredients

  • 450 g/1 lb plain flour
  • 2 rounded tbsp baking powder
  • 125 g/ oz butter, cubed
  • 250 g/9 oz grated mature Cheddar
  • cracked black pepper, optional
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • milk

Topping

  • extra grated Cheddar

Method

Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl then rub in the butter. Stir in the cheese and add a pinch of salt, and the pepper (if using).

Place the eggs in a measuring jug, stir lightly and add enough milk to make up to 300 ml/10 fl oz. (approx 150 ml/5 fl oz). Stir lightly, then add most of this to the mix (enough to combine to a softish dough), and gently combine, getting stuck in with your (floured) hands. Bring together gently (you do not need to knead, only bring the dough together) and place on a floured surface, patting out till about 3cm/1¼in high. Using a fluted cutter, cut out 10 large scones and place on a lightly buttered baking tray.

Brush the tops with any liquid left in the jug (add a splash more milk if necessary) and top with the extra cheese. Bake near the top of a preheated oven (220C/425F/Gas 7) for about 12 minutes or until golden and well-risen.

Remove to a wire rack and leave until barely warm, before splitting and spreading with butter.