Cheese scones can be one of the most temperamental and disappointing treats to make, but this recipe is virtually fool-proof, and tastes fantastic, with another benefit being that they are quick to prepare and cook.
To make a great cheese scone you need to know that “it’s all in the cheese”, so make sure the one you are using is a strong piece of mature cheddar. If possible, always try the cheese you are buying first and see if it is to your liking. The recipe works best if the cheese is allowed to sit and dry for an hour or two prior to preparation as it makes it easier to work with and improves the end product.
These delightful little cheese scones are best eaten on the day they are made.
Ingredients (12-16 scones)
8oz/225g Self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp mustard powder
2oz/50g butter CHILLED and cubed
2oz/50g mature cheddar grated
1 large egg beaten
Around 100ml semi skimmed milk
Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 220c/200c for fan-assisted ovens/gas mark 7.
Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment/greaseproof paper.
1. Sift the flour, baking powder,mustard powder, salt and cayenne pepper into a large mixing bowl .
2. Rub in the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Stir in the cheddar.
4. Place the egg in a measuring jug and make it up to 150ml with the milk.
5. Set aside 1 tablespoon of this egg/milk mix for later.
6. Put the rest of the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and using a COLD round knife mix the mix to a soft but not sticky dough.
7. Roll the mixture out on a floured surface to around 2cm thick and 4cm round place on trays as you go and make sure to leave enough gaps between them to allow spread and even baking.
8. Gather up the mix and re-roll it until you have used it all up.
9. Now with the egg/milk mix put aside earlier, brush the tops of the scones, and if you like, put a small amount of grated mature cheddar on as well if you have any left over.
10. Bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes or until beautifully golden on the top and well risen. When using this recipe for the first time, keep a close eye on the scones if possible and refrain from opening the oven door until they are cooked.
11. Place the hot cheese scones on a wire rack and leave to cool.
12. Put a small slit in each scone when cool and add a little butter or cream cheese and watercress for a summery treat.
It is recommended that whenever you make scones of any kind, you should place your knife and rolling pin in the freezer to chill in order to prevent the mixture from getting too warm as they won’t rise particularly well.
Sometimes the cheese scone mixture does get too warm, if this happens put the mixture in the fridge for a while to chill again, the colder the mix the less they will spread outwards you want them to rise.
Try using a very sharp cheddar if you like a particularly cheesy flavour.