Well what mixed weather we’ve had recently!
When my family came for lunch the other day we went for a walk on beautiful Ashdown Forest and got caught in the rain! I was glad I had made soup for supper as we all needed something warm and comforting.
I decided to make some cheese scones to go with the soup. They are a delicious yeast free alternative to bread and really easy and quick to make.
Easy Cheese Scones
1lb / 450gms / 3 cups self raising flour
2oz / 55gms / 1/4 cup softened butter
6oz / 360gms / 2 cups grated (a strong cheddar is best)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pint / 300mls / 1 1/3 cups full cream milk
A little extra grated cheese for sprinkling
- Sieve flour, baking powder, mustard powder and salt into a large bowl. Add butter cut into small pieces and rub in using your finger tips until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Stir in the grated cheese.
- Mix to a softish dough with the milk using a round bladed knife at first and then your hands. The dough should feel slightly stiffer than a sweet scone dough.
- Tip the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead very lightly until smooth. Then gently pat it out into a round about 6ins/15cm diameter. Brush with milk and sprinkle with extra cheese.
- Cut the round into eight segments and place them on a floured baking tray (or line your baking tray with baking parchment).
- Alternatively, you can cut out your scones with a 2 1/2 inch (4cm) round cutter. You should get approximately 8 scones with this size cutter.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven 220C (200C fan), 425F, gas mark 7 for approximately 20 minutes or until well risen and golden brown.
- Cool on a tray lined with a clean tea towel and cover with another tea towel.
Serving Suggestions for Easy Cheese Scones
Cheese scones are best served slightly warm rather than hot or at room temperature and can be reheated either for a few minutes in a hot oven or a few seconds in a microwave.
They are delicious served with soup but are also excellent served with cream cheese and a sweet chutney (preferably home made).
Here is my tried and tested recipe for home made chutney:
Tanya’s Home Made Chutney Recipe
You will need 6 1lb / 450gms jars.
Ingredients FOR CHUTNEY
2lb / 900gms cooking apples cored and cut into small pieces; no need to peel.
1lb / 450gms onions coarsely chopped
1lb / 450gms mixed dried fruit such as apricots, dates, prunes or figs cut into small pieces
4oz / 110gms raisins or sultanas
1 1/2 pints vinegar (I use malt vinegar but cider or wine vinegar could be used)
1lb 8oz / 675gms sugar (white or brown)
1 teaspoon mixed spice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
Directions FOR CHUTNEY
- Put all the ingredients except the sugar into a preserving pan or a large heavy bottomed saucepan.
- Bring to simmering point over a medium heat and then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the apples and the onions are tender and the mixture is thick, stirring frequently.
This will take about one hour.
- While the chutney is cooking you can sterilise your jars by washing them in hot soapy water, rinse in more hot water and then dry in a warm oven. You will need 6 1lb / 450gms jars.
- Now add the sugar and stir over a low heat until dissolved and then raise the heat to medium until boiling point is reached STIRRING CONTINUOUSLY as once the sugar is added it will burn more easily. Now lower the heat and simmer chutney until thick, stirring very frequently.
- Fill the jars with the hot chutney while they are hot from the oven and seal immediately. The chutney should be kept for at least one month before using.
This recipe allows you to produce a variety of chutneys as the finished product will vary according to the type of dried fruit, vinegar and sugar used. I generally use apricots and dates with malt vinegar and white sugar because I usually would have these ingredients in my cupboard and they make a very good chutney. My advice would be to experiment until you come up with a combination that you like.
Try Plums or Courgettes instead of Apples
I have a plum tree in my garden and if I have a glut of plums I use them with this recipe instead of apples and they make a very good chutney indeed. My daughter had a major glut of courgettes one year on her allotment and she used my recipe substituting courgettes for apples and made a very adequate chutney. It was not perhaps as good as the one made with apples but it was fine in cheese and chutney sandwiches and it did use up some of her courgette mountain!