Here’s another way to inject scone dough with intense, savoury flavours a filling of cheese, greens and ripe tomatoes. Serve while still warm as a light meal or as a friend for your Sunday roast.
- Yield: 12 Servings
For the Dough
- 500 g plain flour
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- 75 g butter, chilled and diced
- 125 g Cheddar, grated
- 50 g Parmesan, grated
- 1 egg, beaten
- 400 ml milk
For the Filling
- 100 g Cheddar, grated
- 40 g Parmesan, grated
- 50 g goat’s cheese, crumbled
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- 60 g baby spinach
- a small bunch of basil, leaves only
- 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- dried chilli flakes, to taste
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg, or to taste
For the Topping
- 2 tomatoes, cut into thin slices
- a good grinding of black pepper
- flaked sea salt, for sprinkling
- olive oil, for drizzling
- 50 g Parmesan, finely grated
How to Make It
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3 and line a baking dish roughly 25 cm × 35 cm and 4 cm deep with non-stick baking paper. Grease the paper with a little olive oil.
- To make the dough, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne in a large bowl, and add the chilled cubes of butter. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the grated cheeses.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and the milk, then add this to the flour mix and stir lightly with a spoon until just combined don’t over-mix. The mixture will be more like a batter incredibly wet and lumpy and you might worry that nothing good will come of it, but trust that it will, and resist the temptation to make a smooth dough.
- Stir together all the ingredients for the filling except the oil, vinegar and seasoning in a large mixing bowl, tossing them together as if you were making a salad. Add a few drops of vinegar and a little olive oil at first, then more if you think they’re needed. Season, to taste.
- Take half the dough and scoop lumps of it into the tray. With the back of a large spoon, dipped in water so it doesn’t stick to the dough, press the lumps down into a reasonably even layer that covers the whole of the base of the tray. Pour the filling evenly over the dough, including all the juice. Scoop the rest of the dough on top, moving it around with the wet spoon to cover all the filling. Top with the slices of tomatoes, some black pepper and flaked sea salt, and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake the giant scone for 25–30 minutes, rotating it half way through the baking time to ensure an even bake. Test it by sliding a palette knife or spatula under the bottom and lifting it up to peek at the base. If it’s an even, golden brown, the scone is cooked all the way through. As soon as you take it out of the oven, scatter over the grated Parmesan. Serve warm. This won’t cut into neat slices, so don’t bother to try.