I have grown up on heavy doses of Enid Blyton. Like really heavy doses. Before the time that I would be able to read lucidly, my sister would stay up nights on end, narrating to me fantasy tales, and crouched under the blanket in winter nights I would be transported to the world of the magic faraway tree, joining in the pranks played by the girls in Malory Towers or solving mysteries like the famous 5 or 5 find outers. I would be enamoured by the lives they led, the things they did and the food they ate. It was the first time I came across the word “larder” and I still prefer using it over pantry. Guess old habits die hard!
I would insist on taking cucumber sandwiches and muffins for tiffin to school and gulp down a neat glass of lemonade once back. But of the many things that enthralled me about their picnic lunches and birthday party menus, my most favourite were gingerbeer and scones. This may have been largely because I had never tasted either. As I grew up I had always wanted to make scones (by this time of course I knew how it tasted like) and the opportunity stared at me on the face when one day I found that my fridge was neatly stacked with a lot of ham and cheddar cheese. I wasted no time and before my mind cold run elsewhere my scones were baking in the oven. The result, if I may say so, was a sublime delight. If you are an aficionado of cheese and ham, I would strongly recommend that you make this at least once. And then, I’m sure, you’ll make these many more times. 🙂
Recipe mostly adapted from A Beautiful Bite
Flour: 3 cups
Baking powder: 3/4 tbsp
Salt, to taste (I used garlic salt)
Butter, cold and cubed: 80 gm
Milk: 1.25 cup
Cheddar cheese, shredded: 1 cup
Ham, diced: 5-6 slices (You can substitute it with bacon as well)
Onion, chopped finely: 1/2
1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. With the tip of your fingers and thumb, cut the butter in and mix well till the entire mass looks like a sandy rubble.
2. Add milk and mix until incorporated. Add cheese, ham and onion and mix well. Reserves a handful of ham and cheese to be sprinkled on top of the dough.
3. Knead the dough gently for 4-5 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 200ºC. Line a cake tin with baking parchment and place the dough at the centre. Press gently with your knuckles till the dough spreads evenly in a circle around the tin. With a sharp knife score the dough into 8 sections but very lightly. Don’t cut it through. Bake for 30-32 minutes or until golden brown.
5. Cut all the way through the scored sections. Let cool on the wire rack for 20-30 minutes before unmoulding and serving warm with your cuppa.
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