Christmas is officially over for eleven months. Now, the presents have all be unwrapped and put away, the decorations taken down, and the turkey pie safely stored in the freezer. The only thing that seems to be left, lurking in the far corners of the fridge, is the final remnants of the cheeseboard. The crusty corner of some coloured Cheshire, some watery roule, and a crumbling slab of Shropshire blue. Fear not- for here is a recipe to use exactly these (perhaps not the roule. That could be messy).
I am quite a connoisseur of cheese, which might come as a surprise considering I haven’t done a recipe on my blog yet that doesn’t contain sugar. The Christmas Cheeseboard in our house is somewhat legendary and always extreme- twenty seven varieties of cheese, extreme. I’ve sampled the delights of creamy brie, stinky stilton, Wensleydale with ginger, red hot Mexicana cheese. When someone in our house asks if they could have some cheese, we list them all off like we’re in a Monty Python sketch. An after Christmas cheese party has become almost obligatory, and the cheeseboard tours around the houses of relatives and friends and is put on show like it’s a cast member of a theatre production.
To cut a curiously long story short, this year, we ended up with two Christmas cheeseboards. That means we’ve now got twice as much cheese as usual (probably more than most deli counters) and no more parties to parade the cheeseboards at. So I’ve turned to good ole baking to make the most of our cheeses and my first port of call is my grandad’s favourite, cheese scones. By mixing up the types of cheeses you can add so much flavour, and best of all, you can have endless varieties of cheese scones, so you never need to make the same scone twice. It’s an ideal solution if you’ve got mountains of cheese to eat, so in our house right now this recipe is a godsend. These past few weeks we’ve dined on cheese scones, cheese sandwiches, cheese tart, cheese muffins, cheese soup, cheese flan, cheese on toast.
Believe me, you name it, I‘ve had it- in cheese form.
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MAKES 12 scones
PREP 20 mins
COOK 15 mins
▪ Best eaten fresh on day of preparation
300g self-raising flour
75g softened butter
75g grated cheese (a mixture of whatever you have- I used cheddar, Cheshire, and double Gloucester)
1 egg, beaten
1 Preheat the oven to 200°c/400°f/Gas Mark 6. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.
2 Sieve the flour into a large bowl. Cut the butter into cubes and rub into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
3 Stir in the grated cheese using your fingers, then slowly add the milk. Use a knife to stir it in. Add just enough so that the dough starts to come together, but is not sticky. You may need to adjust the amount of milk slightly.
4 Tip onto a floured surface and knead lightly. Press the dough down using the palms of your hands until it’s about 2.5cm thick, then cut out the cheese scones using a medium sized circle cutter. If there is any dough left over, gather it together and cut out scones again, but be careful not to overwork the dough.
5 Place onto the baking tray, leaving space between them in case they spread, and brush with the beaten egg. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until golden. Cool them on a wire rack, or spit them open whilst still warm and enjoy with some butter. ▪