Cheese scones have to be the most quintessentially British of all teatime treats. As you may know we live in lovely Ely in Cambridgeshire and we have some very lovely tea shops here, with a wealth of cream teas available to try, and we have tried quite a few. We've even tried some great cream teas in Cornwall and Devon but the cheese scone has never been high up on my list to try, I always go for a fruit scone, maybe it's an Irish thing, we have great scones in Ireland too and unlike here you always get butter with your scone in Ireland! Anyway that's another story.
I tried my first proper cheese scone recently when I hosted a bloggers tour of Ely Markets, the lovely people at Lemon Tree Deli kindly shared their lovely cheese scones with us and I was converted. I love cheese and I loves scones so I guess it makes perfect sense that I would love cheese scones. What I wasn't expecting though when I made these was that my girl would love them as much as she did! We have been doing a lot of baking recently, mostly me teaching Abigail how to bake some basic recipes like sultana scones. So when I made these cheese scones she wasn't quite on board with the idea of a scone with cheese in it but hey, you know she surprises us all the time.
I have made these cheese scones with a mixture of strong red Leicester cheese and a mature cheddar cheese, I also included chives which give the scones a nice little onion kick, I topped them with sunflower seeds for extra crunchiness. They are really great served warm with butter and a good quality red onion chutney, but they are also great cold. They will keep for a few days in an airtight container and can be warmed up in the oven for a few minutes if you'd like them warm. These cheese scones are great for picnics, tea time treats, school lunch boxes or even breakfast.
Cheese Scones with Chives and Sunflower Seeds
- 450 g / 3 cups of self raising flour + extra for dusting
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tbsp English mustard powder
- 180 g / ¾ cup of strong red Leicester cheese finely grated + 20g for topping
- 100 g / approx ½ cup of mature cheddar grated
- 2 tbsp chives chopped
- 100 g / approx ½ of cup of cold butter
- 150 ml / ⅔ cup of cold milk
- 100 ml / just under ½ a cup of cold water
- 1 heaped tbsp sunflower seeds
- 1 large egg beaten with 1tsp milk
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C / 392F, I use an electric, fan assisted oven, please adjust according to your own oven.
- Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl, stir in the salt and mustard powder.
- Grate in the butter then using your fingertips rub the butter into the flour until you have a texture like breadcrumbs. Stir in the grated cheese and chives.
- Add the water to the milk.
- Make a well in the centre then pour in the milk, using a metal spoon stir the milk into the flour mixture. Use your hands to pull it all together but try not to handle the mixture too much.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured working surface then shape and flatten it into a round, it should be about 2.5 to 3cm high.
- Using a floured 6cm cutter cut out the scones, reshape the dough again trying not too handle the dough too much. Repeat until you have no dough left.
- Place the scones on a floured baking tray, brush with the egg wash, top with the reserved cheese and the sunflower seeds.
- Bake on the middle shelf in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the scones are golden.
- Remove from the oven, leave to cool for 5 minutes on the baking tray then transfer to a cooling rack.
- Serve warm with butter and a good red onion chutney.