Smoked Cheddar, Apple and Rosemary Scones

Rosemary is the herb of remembrance. Try these seasonal scones for a spot of soothing baking, safe in the knowledge they give more back than they ask of you.

Smoked cheddar is available at specialty food stores and delis (and decent grocery stores), but of course use an aged cheddar instead, if you prefer.

Tip: If you can’t find self-raising flour, use plain flour and up the total baking powder to 1 + 3/4 tbsp. Sift together before using.

Makes 8 large scones

Ingredients

350g self-raising flour (plus a little more to dust)
1/2 tsp fine salt
1 tsp baking powder
85g cold butter, cubed
1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
75g smoked aged cheddar, grated
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and grated (about 1 dense cup)
175ml milk
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1 egg, beaten
Flaked sea salt, to sprinkle on top

Method:

Heat the oven to 425F / 220C / 200C Fan.

Add the flour, baking powder and salt to a large bowl and whisk to combine.

Add the cubed butter to the flour and use your fingers to rub the butter in until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (A pastry cutter will do the job too.) Pop the bowl in the fridge for a few minutes to keep cold.

Chop up the rosemary and grate the cheddar and apple.

Pour the milk into a jug and microwave for 30 – 45 seconds until warm (but not hot). Add the lemon juice and set aside for a moment. Don’t worry if it looks like it’s curdling – it will turn out really well once the dough is baked.

Place a baking tray in the oven to get hot.

Fork through the rosemary and cheddar into the flour to mix. Next, add the grated apple and the milk mixture. Use a cutlery knife to mix the dough together. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and fold over once or twice to smooth. Pat out the dough into a rough rectangle to about two fingers thick, then cut in half to form two squares. Cut each square into quarters on the diagonal, to give 8 pieces total.

Brush the scones with beaten egg, then sprinkle lightly with flaked sea salt. Place on the hot tray and bake for 14 – 15 minutes, until golden brown. Leave to cool on a rack. Warm gently in a low oven before serving.

Make ahead: Scones can be frozen for up to 2 months. Cool completely after baking, then freeze in airtight containers. Reheat for a few minutes at 320F / 160C / 140C Fan.

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