A few weeks ago I made sweet scones as part of a special afternoon tea for Mum and Dad on Mothering Sunday and they were a great success. So last weekend on Father’s Day, with Mum and Dad coming to tea again, I decided to make scones again, but this time Savoury ones: with cheese both in the mix and crusted on the top. It is a lovely flavourful recipe with the strong cheese flavour enhanced by mustard and cayenne pepper giving a spicy bite, the strength of which of course can be adjusted to taste. They would also be delicious with a little fried onion added to the mix or on top – or both. These scones are perfect at tea time or in lunch boxes, at Summer picnics or served with a warming Winter soup in place of bread.
As with the sweet scones the source for this recipe was Delia Smith’s recipe Cheese Crusted Scones from the original version of her Book of Cakes. It is a straightforward fairly standard cheese scone recipe and I made it exactly as per the instructions, apart from slightly lessening the spices. In particular I used less cayenne as the one I have from our local ethnic shop is rather fiery. I didn’t want to spoil the scones by making them too hot! The recipe below is a doubled version: somehow the eight smallish scones I made didn’t seem enough. As with the sweet scones I have added a list of other savoury scones further down this page: recipes from books I own and from cookery sites online that I may well make at some point. If I do make any and post them on this site I will add a link.
Cheese Crusted Scones
(Makes 12-16 scones)
12ozs/350g self raising flour
60zs/170g finely grated strong Cheddar cheese
2 large eggs
4-6tbsp milk (and a little more if needed)
1tsp English mustard powder (or less if you wish)
2-4 large pinches cayenne pepper
A little extra milk
1. Preheat the oven to 220oC/425oF/Gas 7 and thoroughly grease a large baking sheet (or two smaller ones).
2. Sift the flour into a bowl along with the mustard powder, salt and half of the cayenne pepper and mix together.
3. Rub in the butter with finger tips until well combined. Mix in most of the grated cheese leaving the remainder (around a generous 2 tbsp) to use later as a topping.
4. Beat the eggs with 4tbsp milk and add to the dry ingredients. Mix together to form a soft dough that leaves the bowl clean, adding a little more milk as required if the mixture seems dry. Try to avoid working the mixture too much as this will make the scones hard.
5. On a well floured surface, to avoid sticking, gently roll the dough as evenly as possible to a thickness of ¾inch/2cm. I like to cut savoury scones into square shapes (using rounds for sweet scones) and this can be done with a knife. If the dough is formed into an oblong shape it can be cut into the required number of equally sized pieces which will avoid it having to be reworked. Depending on size required, bearing in mind they will rise in the oven, aim for 12-16 pieces.
6. Brush the tops with a little more milk, sprinkle equally with the reserved cheese and, if you wish, very lightly dush with some more cayenne pepper.
7. Place evenly spaced on the baking sheets, allowing a little room for rising. Bake for 12-15 minutes (or a little longer if necessary) until the cheese has started to crust and the scones are browned. Cool on a wire rack.
8. Serve warm or cold with or without butter but the scones are best eaten the day they are cooked. Next day reheating a little is recommended. Fillings such as ham, tuna, chutney or tomato are also suggested, as is topping with a fried, poached or scrambled egg.
Alternative recipes for savoury scones (untried):
Cheese & Fried onion Scones (see my note above)
Cheese & Sweetcorn Scones – The Omniverous Bear/Good Food
Potato Scones – Delia Smith – Book of Cakes (original version)
Tattie (Potato) Scones – London Eats
Cheese & Marmite Scones – For Forks Sake
Buttermilk Scones with Cheshire Cheese & Chives – Delia Smith online
Feta, Olive & Sun Dried Tomato Scones – Delia Smith online
Savoury Herb Scones – Cook it Simply
Peppadew & Chive Scones – The Complete Cookbook
Cheese & Chive Scones – Lavender & Lovage
Cheese Scones with a Chilli kick – Searching for Spice
Ham & Cheese Muffins (not quite scones but almost) – Slightly Domesticated Dad