Scone, but not forgotten

IMG_2898Blessed are the cheese makers, and many, many others….

The Kennington farmer’s market in south London is a hive of activity on a Saturday (I am pleased to report) and when wandering through Rocket happened upon some delicious cheese.IMG_2849

My father in law, Big Rocket, used to enjoy his cooking and one of the things I loved were his cheese scones. I am not a baker, lacking the ‘precise gene’ needed to truly excel at proper cakes etc. That said, I enjoy a ‘bake up’ from time to time, especially making breads so I don’t rule it out altogether.

Rocket does have a precise gene and was handily around to help out, so things just fell into place.IMG_2889

As Big Rocket passed some years ago now taking with him his delicious scone ‘know how’ we didn’t have his expertise to call upon. So, we just roughly adapted a Mary Berry recipe, and decided to add the Berkswell cheese (made by Stephen Fletcher in the Midlands) and some fresh chilli as our flavourings.

Rocket photographed the tag so that you can see who made the cheeses, because I am nosy and like to know these things and also, blessed are the cheese makers….IMG_1145

When eventually sat to eat our lunch, we also enjoyed another cheese purchased from the market and it was quite simply scrumptious so it is equally worthy of a mention. It’s from the Sharpham Creamery in Devon and was stunning.IMG_1148

I realise that I constantly link food to memories, perhaps it’s a greedy gene….or maybe it’s that smell is so evocative…

I can literally taste the scones Big Rocket made, not to mention the cheese straws … If I close my eyes for just a moment, I can still hear his voice…a slight Suffolk lilt.

Back to the tale.IMG_2882

So we thought we would make these chilli cheese scones and have them ploughman style with some celery and chutney. Now,if you are going to make some scones, you’d feel robbed if there weren’t any sweet ones filled with billowing pillows of cream wouldn’t you? I would….IMG_2903

So we also made some with fruit and layered them with lemon curd and clotted cream. It was very greedy of us, but there it is.IMG_2922

When we took the scones warm and golden from the oven, I hoped my father in law would have thought we’d done a good job on them… but maybe he wouldn’t have liked the green and red flecks of chilli running though? Rocket said that he thought he would have grown into things like that later in life, that he would have enjoyed the warmth of the chilli….

Berkswell Cheese Scones with chilliIMG_2891

225g sifted self raising flour

A level tsp baking powder

55 g cold cubed butter

½ tsp salt

1/2 tsp of english mustard powder

3 grinds of black pepper

¼ pint of milk

1 tsp finely chopped red chilli – seeds out

1 tsp finely chopped green chilli – seeds out

60 g good mature flavoured hard cheese – finely diced, except a little grated for the top.

A little egg and milk for glaze

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6 or equivalent.IMG_2879

Add the baking powder, pepper and salt to the flour and rub in the butter until it looks like fine bread crumbs.


Now stir in the cubed cheese, mustard powder and chilli, make a well in the centre of the mixture and pour in a little of the milk. Mix with a knife and only add enough of the milk to bring everything together in a soft dough.

IMG_2860Turn out onto a floured surface and knead a little until the mixture is a smooth ball, then flatten it with hands or rolling pin so that it is evenly about 2cm thick.IMG_2868

Now cut out the scones and pop them onto a baking sheet – either greased/ oiled or if you have them, the silicone sheets are just brilliant.

Brush the top of the scones with the egg and milk mixture and sprinkle with the grated cheese.

Bake in the top half of the oven for about 5 minutes – depending on your oven.

These are great just buttered or with some sliced cheese.IMG_2891








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