Baking

Foolproof Cheese Scones

This weekend has been delightful, hanging out with my mum and my sister over the Easter weekend. We went for a walk in a local wood, and discovered a whole hillside covered in wild garlic. Being me, I had to pick some!

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Oh my days, is wild garlic smelly! It stunk out the car on the way home, so much so that we decided I should keep it outside (in a little makeshift vase) until I worked out what I’d cook with it.

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Having browsed the internet, I decided to make wild garlic cheese scones. Cooking them made the whole house (and even outside the house) smell overwhelmingly of garlic! It’s fair to say that the results weren’t really edible; all but three were thrown away. But it did make me want to blog my usual cheese scone recipe.

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Don’t make these!! But do make my foolproof normal cheese scones…

My cheese scone recipe was originally a recipe we discovered in my Mum’s university alumni magazine, but as I’ve honed my scone-making skills over the years, I’ve tweaked and adapted it. When you don’t add wild-garlic, they really are foolproof! And delicious.

Foolproof Cheese Scones

Ingredients:

8 oz / 225g self-raising flour
Pinch salt
2 oz / 55g softened butter or margarine
1 egg
1 tsp English mustard
7 oz / 200g mature cheddar – the more mature the better!
2.5 fl oz / 75ml milk

The recipe:

Pre-heat your oven to 200 ºC, 180 ºC fan, Gas Mark 6.

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, and add the butter/margarine.

If you forget to take the butter out of the fridge to soften, like I usually do, just cut it up into small blocks with a sharp knife. This will help with the rubbing in process. 

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Rub the fat into the dry ingredients so that it looks somewhat like fine breadcrumbs.

Grate the cheddar and mix it into the ‘breadcrumbs’. You will want to keep some of it back for the top of the scones.

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Add the mustard to the egg and beat together. Make a well in the centre of the cheesy breadcrumbs and pour in the egg mixture.

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Mix the ingredients together with a knife – you don’t want to overwork the dough as it can become tough – and add the milk a splash at a time, until the mixture comes together as a dough. The amount of milk you need will vary depending on the size of your egg.

Use your hands to bring the dough together, but don’t over-do it.

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This dough is actually very slightly wet. I probably should have added a shake of flour to it before trying to roll it out.

Roll out the dough to your preferred thickness. Since I like a short squat scone, I go for about an inch, but if you like a tall one, go for a couple of inches high.

Cut out your shapes with a fluted cutter, or if you don’t have one, just shape into a rough circle and cut into triangles. Place the scones on a greased baking sheet.

A non-stick baking sheet is best; it’s sad to lose some scone to the bottom of the pan. If you do not have a non-stick option, consider using baking paper to line whatever it is you’re using. 

Brush the tops of the scones with milk and sprinkle with the left-over cheddar.

Bake the scones in the middle of the oven for 15-25 minutes, until they are beautifully golden. The time required will depend on your oven and the thickness of your scone, but don’t worry about opening up the oven to take a look, it won’t affect how the scones come out.

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These beauties are actually from a couple of years ago. Part of me wishes I’d made these yesterday, instead of the ones that were thrown away, but life is meant to be an adventure!

And finally, make sure you let the scones cool completely before you eat them. They will smell amazing, but a warm cheese scone really isn’t very nice at all.

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