I think scones have to be one of the most popular of all the quick breads. Similar to the North American biscuit, but not quite the same. Typically scones are a bit sweeter than North American Biscuits, not to be confused with cookies! We may call cookies biscuits over here, but if you go to North American and request a biscuit with your cup of tea you are going to get something like a scone! Not that that would be disappointing or anything, but I'd rather dunk a Digestive Biscuit than a scone!
I have to say I have never bought a scone in a shop that I enjoyed as much as I enjoy the ones I make at home. Tis true. I admit it. I may be a bit of a scone snob though . . . and I've never been known to turn one down, shop bought or not. I'm just saying that homemade ones are infinitely better than any you will find in a shop.
There are a few things that you can do to make sure you scones are always light and well risen with straight sides.
- Handle the dough as little as possible. Try not to over mix the liquid ingredients into the dry. You can knead them very gently to bring the dough together, but take care not to over do it, a few gentle turns should do the trick.
- Pat, don't roll. I find that patting the dough out gently with my hands yields a much more tender scone.
- Use a sharp floured cutter to cut them out and use a sharp tapping motion, straight up and down. Do not twist the cutter, or your scones will be lopsided and raise unevenly.
There are all kinds of delicious scones available today. I have posted quite a few tasty versions of the Scone, including my absolute favourite version . . . Maple Walnut. Today however I wanted to show you a version that is a tiny bit different.
These are like a cross between a savory and a sweet scone. There is no sugar in them at all . . . but the apple that you grate into the mix does add a bit of sweetness that goes so very well with the strong cheddar that is also in the mix.
The result is a delicious scone with a tender wholesome crumb. I love the melted cheese on the outsides and I can tell you they make a lovely light lunch with a slab of cheddar and some good mango chutney!
*Apple and Cheddar Scones*
makes about 8
Beautiful scones, moist and tender on the inside and yet crisp on the outside. Apples and cheese, the perfect combination!
225g of self raising flour (1 2/3 cups)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
50g of unsalted butter, chilled (3 1/2 TBS)
1 tsp dry mustard powder
75g extra mature English cheddar cheese, grated (3/4 of a cup)
1 eating apple, washed and dried
100ml of milk (6 1/2 TBS)
Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6. Butter a baking sheet and set aside.
Sift the flour into a bowl along with the salt and baking powder. Drop in the butter and then rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Stir in the mustard powder and 2/3 of the cheese. Grate the apple into the bowl, using the large holes of a box grater. Discard the core and pips. Mix well to coat the apple with the flour. Pour in the milk and mix together with a round bladed knife to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Pat out to about 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into 8 rounds. Gather together the scraps and repeat as necessary. Place onto the baking sheet, leaving some space in between. Sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over top of them all.
Bake in the heated oven for 15 minutes, until well risen and golden brown. Scoop off onto a wire rack to cool. Serve warm, or cold as desired.
Note: I like to use a 3 inch round cutter for these.