Two facts up front. 1) I make the best scones in the world. There are many things I do badly, and many things I do well, but there is one thing I do better than anyone, ever, and that is make scones. 2) You could not pay me to eat blue cheese. Okay, I have my price. Sure, if a crazy billionaire came up to me and said, “I will pay you one million dollars to eat this hunk of blue cheese”, I would think for a minute that a million dollars really doesn’t go all that far these days. But, yeah. I would eat it.
My friend, the wonderful author of Chocolate for Breakfast and Chocolate Fondue – neither of which are cookbooks, Martha Reynolds, and I went to a lovely bakery for coffee and a chat recently. I won’t name the bakery, because they ARE wonderful, but I am about to say something bad about one of their products. We had gone there for macarons but neither of us had them or remembered to leave with them. On my way in, I noticed they had ‘blue cheese walnut scones’. I had to try them. Intellectual curiosity. Why do that to a scone? They had the most intriguing flavor but like so many scones in the US they were like eating sawdust. So I had to try to make these myself.
First I looked up recipes. Because I don’t make a ‘savory’ scone. I make the traditional with raisins/currants scone. I saw some of the worst scone recipes. One called for 4 TBS of baking powder. That made my teeth hurt, just thinking how it would taste. So I decided my recipe was just fine for savory scones as well. Just take out the sugar and raisins. They were heaven! So I decided it was time for people to stop eating dry horrible scones and share my recipe.
KATE’S EVERDAY SCONE RECIPE
- 3 cups flour
- 2 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- ¾ cup butter
- ¾ cup raisins
- 1 cup buttermilk
- light cream
Preheat oven to 450 °F. Mix together all dry but raisins. Rub in butter. Stir in raisins. Add buttermilk. Mix. When well mixed, turn out onto floured surface and knead lightly. Roll out to about ½ to ¾ inch thickness. Use floured rim of glass to cut rounds. Reroll scraps ad cut until all used. Place on floured cookie sheet (or covered with parchment paper) and brush tops with light cream. Bake fifteen minutes or until golden. Serve with butter or clotted cream and favorite jam. I prefer orange marmalade, my husband prefers strawberry preserves.
BLUE CHEESE AND WALNUT VARIATION
Leave out the sugar. Substitute 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese and 4 ounces chopped walnuts for the raisins (by weight not volume). After turning out and kneading, form into large round. After putting on cookie sheet cut like a pie with a large knife but do not separate. After baking, they will break apart into nice triangles. Don’t know why, but in my mind, savory scones should not be round. Cook until golden. The round will take 5 to 10 minutes longer than the individual scones. These are wonderful with butter or clotted cream and fig preserves are what we had with them.
Now go out there and see what a good scone tastes like. And if your ingredients aren’t fresh, I don’t want to hear about your scones aren’t good. I get nuts when people say something didn’t come out well. But they use flour that has been sitting in the canister for months, and baking soda that has been sitting on a shelf since they last used it over a year ago. People are always accusing cooks of leaving out some secret ingredient when they give out a special recipe. That’s not the case at all. People who cook all the time, have fresh ingredients. It really is that simple.