I mentioned recently that I’ve become addicted to the Great British Bake-Off (see my post here for Ginger Cake ), and I decided to order one of Mary Berry’s cookbooks, 100 Cakes and Bakes, so I could try my hand at some of the recipes. It’s a nice, small book. Each recipe fits on a single page, with a full-page picture of the (hoped-for) result opposite. It has a delightful range of traditional recipes, some of which I’d met only in books (for example, she provides one for Singin’ Hinnies, which I first encountered a few thousand years ago in Mary Stewart’s book, The Ivy Tree. I never expected to make them myself, but now I can if I want to).
Many of the recipes in the book are for sweets and desserts, but there are some nice savory ones as well. Since I was faced with a huge amount of ham left over from Christmas dinner, I decided to try something different: a scone with a lot of cheese. Not a cluster of cute little scones—one big one. It’s kind of fun, and it tastes good.
Mary favors self-rising flour, which I don’t have, but you can make your own by adding baking powder and salt to regular flour. I just went straight to the flour/baking powder/salt combination. You (and Mary) can make the scone by hand, but I confess, I opted for my food processor, except for the final kneading step.
Mary Berry's Big Cheese Scone
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tblsp baking powder
1 oz butter (1 fat pat)
8 oz (weight) cheddar cheese, grated (you can also mix your cheeses--I used a blend of cheddar and parmesan)
1 large egg
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet.
Place the flour, salt, mustard, cayenne and baking powder in the bowl of your food processor and pulse a few times to mix.
Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.
Break the egg into a measuring cup and add milk to make up 1/2 cup. Mix lightly, then add the liquid into the dry ingredients and pulse until they make a soft dough.
Turn out on a floured surface and knead lightly a few times, until the dough holds together. Shape it into a 6-inch circle. Place on the greased baking sheet and mark in sixths. Brush with a little milk and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown and firm. Cool on a wire rack.
Eat ASAP! It’s best served warm.