My kid sister has always been something of a fussy eater. When she was a little child, it was not uncommon for her seat at the table to be littered with (what she THOUGHT were) well-hidden remnants of her meal – legumes, anything that had been within 6 feet of ocean waters, bean shoots, sprouts, all members of the onion family, any form of fungii…the list goes on.
Remember, this is the kid who used to go nuts over the salt container, whilst me and my brother were tag-teaming the nutella and jam jars.
Admittedly, as she’s getting a bit older, her tastes *are* beginning to expand – she will no longer sit down and meticulously pick every single tiny piece of mushroom out of the ‘bolognese’ sauce (well, our hugely bastardized version of it!), nor is she quite so horrified when presented with a meal that involves organisms that used to swim.
We’re still working on the onions and legumes…
When I was making my first foray into the world of scones a few months ago, my sister asked me what kind of scones I was making, and the huge grin she presented when I told her made me think that there was another reason for her asking!
“Well…its just that I think scones should be sweet! Savoury scones are ewwww – I had one before and it was gross!” she explained, with a disdainful wrinkling of the nose.
Tsk tsk tsk.
Okay, so I had to admit…I had never actually tasted a savoury scone myself, but being the older sister, I felt that I had a role to play in encouraging her to expand her horizons. After all, I’m meant to be the older, wiser figurehead who is to help her learn to open her mind to new and exciting things, right? Right?
Sorry, I couldn’t help pissing myself laughing there 😉
Regardless, I thought it might be nice to try a savoury scone recipe and see whether I could get her to change her mind, so I nabbed a recipe that looked rather promising from one of my magazines and set about giving it a try. I set about chopping and mixing, merrily humming as my hands raced around to get everything together – not an uncommon sight in our kitchen, and when my sister pranced down from her room and saw me hard at work, her eyes lit up and she asked what I was making.
Gathering the biggest grin I could muster, I winked at her and told her it was something she wouldn’t like! Oh, the way her smile just crumpled almost broke my heart! Good grief – talk about looking despondent! I hoped that the recipe would’t let me down, and had my fingers crossed as I slid the tray into the oven. I set about making lunch for the siblings, whilst nervously checking the oven every 10 minutes, anxious as to how it would taste and whether my sister would like it. The moment they were done, I pulled them out, broke off a bite-sized piece and popped it into my mouth.
To say that I was utterly surprised would be an understatement. I don’t know what I was actually expecting, but it certainly wasn’t anything this good! Dense but light, soft, moist, it was possibly the biggest, most misshapen scone I’d ever seen (these f*ckers are HUGE – each scone about the size and weight of a heavy bun/bread roll!) but my god, did it pack a flavour punch! A minute after I’d removed them from the oven, my sister appeared again, led into the kitchen by her nose. She looked curiously at the giant craggy shapes on the baking tray, then lent in and took a GIANT SNIFF.
“Hey! They smell like pizza!” She picked one up and took a bite, chewed, then looked at me with a grin to confirm that she liked ’em, and I grinned back at her as I took another bite of the scone in my hand and savored the moment.
(Adapted from Sept 2006 edition of Delicious)
600g (4 cups) self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
100g chilled, unsalted butter, cubed, plus extra to serve
160g ham, finely chopped
5-6 spring onions, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper (capsicum), deseeded and finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper (capsicum), deseeded and finely chopped
1/2 brown onion, finely diced
240g (2 cups) finely grated tasty cheddar cheese
375mL (1.5 cups) milk, plus extra to brush
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, and line a baking tray with baking paper and give it a light dusting of flour.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and cayenne pepper, then rub in the butter with your fingertips till it resembles breadcrumbs (if you have a food processor, just pulse it in there till it resembles coarse breadcrumbs).
3. Stir in the ham, spring onion, capsicum, onion and 1 1/2 cups of cheese (leave the remaining 1/2 cup) and season well with salt and pepper. Add the milk, cutting into the dry mixture with a knife till just combined – do not overmix.
4. Liberally dust your hands with flour, then scoop out the EXTREMELY STICKY batter onto the baking tray and try and form it into a rough round – about 25cm in diameter. Cut into 8 wedges and separate them slightly as they will expand, then brush their surfaces with milk and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.
5. Bake for 20-30 mins, or till they have puffed beautifully and are golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
6. Serve warm, spread with a little extra butter.
[tags]savoury, scones, recipes, quickbreads, breakfast, snacks, easy[/tags]