Cheese scones with balsamic and basil tomatoes
Prep: 40 mins
Serves 4 people
450g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder
225g mature cheddar
1 medium egg
275ml whole milk, plus extra for grazing
A squeeze of lemon juice
A pinch of smoked paprika (optional)
A handful of flat leaf parsley, leaves only
A handful of chives
250g baby plum tomatoes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
A handful of basil
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Heat your oven to 200C/Fan 180C/Gas 6. Dust a large baking tray with a little flour.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate, baking powder and a pinch of sea salt into a large bowl. Coarsely grate the cheddar and stir most of it into the flour, keeping back a few pinches of cheese.
Crack the egg into a bowl and beat it to break it up. Measure out the milk and add a squeeze of lemon juice. Give it a stir – it should look a little curdled and lumpy. Whisk in the egg.
Add the milk to the dry ingredients. Stir together to make a soft dough.
Dust your work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Gently knead it to bring it together and then pat it into flat round, roughly 3cm high. Stamp out scones with a 7cm cutter and put them on the baking tray. Bring the dough trimmings together and pat them back into a round 3cm high. Stamp out more scones and put them on the tray. Repeat till you have used all the dough – remember, the faster you work, the lighter your scones will be when they are baked.
Brush the tops of the scones with a little milk. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and a pinch of smoked paprika if you’re using it. Bake them for 20 minutes, until they are risen, golden and feel light when you pick them up. Cool them on a wire rack.
While the scones are baking, tip the ricotta into a small bowl. Finely chop the parsley leaves and the chives. Add them to the ricotta with a little salt and pepper. Stir to mix. Halve the tomatoes. Pop them in a bowl with the balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to mix.
Serve the scones with the herby ricotta, the balsamic tomatoes and a few torn basil leaves scattered over the top.
Recipe from Abel & Cole (abelandcole.co.uk)