frugal cooking


Cheese Scones

Classic British Picnic menu item

Cheese Scones

It is tempting, although I have never done it, to put a little paper flag in the top of a cheese scone.  To me they look like sandcastles, albeit with a lattice cheese sunhat, and a crowning glory of a paper flag made from a cocktail stick, glue and the loan of my daughters felt-tipped pens would just finish them off perfectly.

I guess thats it though, the success of a scone, cheese or fruit, is measured, quite literally, by its height.  

Opinions for the successful achieving of 'height' on a scone differ remarkably.  But it is just Baking Powder which is needed, I tend to add a little more to already Self Raising Flour, but also don't underestimate the power of cold butter to add pockets of 'lift' to the mix, and don't roll the mixture too thin these are scones, not biscuits!  The dough needs to be at least 2.5cm (1 inch) thick when cutting out the scone shape with the cutter.

Cheese scones (Makes about 12)

250g Self Raising plain flour, plus extra for dusting 
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp English mustard powder 
75g butter
1000g strong hard cheese like mature red leicester or cheddar plus additional for grating the 'sun hats'
150ml cold milk
1 egg, beaten. 

Heat the oven to 220C.
Put the flour, baking powder, salt and mustard powder into a large mixing bowl and mix to combine well, before adding the butter (cut into cubes) which you should ideally rub in with your fingertips to resemble fine breadcrumbs.
Now, we know I have no desire on the baking front to create cake unless I can make it in my blender, so at this point I pulse it together.  However you have to be very mindful of the fact you dont want to get the butter too warm so be short and quick.

Finely grate in cheese, stir to combine. Make a well in the centre of the dry mix and stir in the milk until the dough just comes away from the edge of the bowl
Try not to handle it too much then flatten it out on a floured surface to about 2.5cm thickness and cut rounds with a pastry cutter.
Once you have finished cutting out the scones, transfer to a baking sheet, brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with additional cheese. 

Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. 

Remove from oven and hide somewhere out of sight until they are cool otherwise they will mysteriously disappear the moment your back is turned. 

Posted in Frugal Foods

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