A St George’s Day recipe from Borough Belle Emily McGeevor
My recipe for cheese and chive scones is off the back of the scone stall, which we did at the Market for St George’s Day. Afternoon tea was the most quintessentially English thing we could think of, so there was every type of scone you’ve ever seen. My mum makes the most incredible cheese scones and it’s not the same recipe—it’s inspired by a Delia Smith recipe—but these are still absolutely gorgeous.
75g gruyere cheese, grated (I like to use gruyere but you can use any hard cheese—comte, cheddar, parmesan. They’re all great and all bring different flavours)
175g self-raising flour
½ tsp mustard powder
½ tsp salt
25g butter, cold from the fridge, cubed
1 large egg
2-3 tbsp buttermilk
Optional: a pinch or two of cayenne pepper
For the topping:
25g gruyere cheese, grated
A little milk for brushing
Pre-heat the oven to 220C.
Sift the flour and mustard powder into a bowl before adding the salt (and a good pinch or 2 of cayenne if you would like a spicy finish. If you do not use cayenne, I recommend a good grind of black pepper.)
Mix the above together well, before rubbing in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. The key here is cold butter, and ideally cold hands! Now mix in the gruyere.
Beat together 2 tbsp buttermilk and the egg. Add this to the dry ingredients to make a soft dough. If it seems a little crumbly, add another ½ spoon of buttermilk (or more) to make a smooth dough. The dough should just about leave the bowl clean—do not be tempted to overwork, or the scones will not rise.
Now roll it out as evenly as possible, to 2½-3cm thick. Thin scones cook before they have a chance to fully rise. Using a 2-inch fluted cutter, cut out 8 scones, re-rolling the scraps if necessary.
Now place them on a well-greased baking sheet, brush the tops with milk, then sprinkle the rest of the grated cheese on top of each scone.
Bake them on a high shelf for about 15-20 mins, until the scones have risen and are golden brown.
Once cooked, remove form the tray and cool on a wire rack,
They are best fresh from the oven with butter, but keep in a tin to store. Once cooled, I also enjoy these with a dollop of sour cream, or float them in a good onion soup.
Recipe: Emily McGeevor