Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cheese Scones

A few years ago, at a wonderful National Trust property in Cornwall, I had the most amazing cheese scone. Ever since that time, I have been trying to find one to match it. Sadly, I have been unable to replicate it in it's pale golden, soft, buttery, lightness, but I have formulated this recipe which sort of comes close.

Makes 15 x 4.8cm (1+7/8 inch) scones (don't ask - that's the size printed on my scone cutter)

120g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
50g butter, cut into 1cm cubes
80ml milk
1 tsp lemon juice
80g mature cheddar cheese, grated
1 + 1/2 tablespoons of poppy seeds.

Preheat the oven to 170C and line a baking tray with baking paper.

1. Mix the milk and the lemon juice together in a jug and leave to stand. (The milk will curdle. That's the point)
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, into a large mixing bowl. Add the poppy seeds and stir well.
3. Rub in the butter, until it looks like coarse sand. (Oliver Peyton in his Peyton and Byrne Baking book advises mashing the butter in with a fork. I found this a most unsatisfactory way of doing it. Although less messy it is less effective and more lumps of butter remain, but I digress)
4. Stir in the cheese, then add the milk/lemon-juice mixture to the flour-butter mixture and stir well with a wooden spoon, until the mixture comes together.
5. Handling the mixture as little as possible, bring together into a ball. Rest in the fridge for 5-10 minutes
6. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to 1 to 2 cm thick.
7. Stamp out scone shapes using circular cutters. (I used the ones with fluted edges as there is less temptation to "twist" the cutter. If the cutter is twisted, it ruins the layers of the scone dough and causes a poor/uneven rise)
8. Bake the scones on the prepared tray for 15-20 minutes until just starting to brown.
9. Serve warm with plenty of butter.

Please note, these are in no way a health food, and should not be treated as such.

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