As summer comes to an end, I am desperately clinging to any summer warmth before the winter evenings come in with a bang. These cheese scones have both sun and heat, featuring sunny basil which lifts anything it is cooked in, and spicy peach chutney. I made my own peach chutney to spread on these cheesy little morsels, but you could likewise buy some from any supermarket or eat them spread with butter or even just by themselves. Chutney making is, however, really fun and I would encourage you all to go grab the peaches from the supermarket whilst you still can. The chutney will last a long time once made.
The recipe today is going to be in two-parts. First I will detail how to make the scones, and then how to make the peach chutney for the super keen out there.
Basil and Goats Cheese Scones
200g Goats cheese
50g fresh basil
340g self-raising flour
dab of mustard (the English variety)
salt and pepper
~150ml milk (whole)(at room temperature)
- To make the scones, start by lining a baking tray with baking parchment and preheating the oven to 180•C.
- Cube the chilled butter, then measure out the self-raising flour. Tip both into a large mixing bowl, then gently rub the butter into the flour with the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. There should be no clumps of butter left in the mixture.
- Pick the basil leaves, removing any tough stems. Finely chop then stir into the breadcrumb-like mix. Next add a generous dap of english mustard, plenty of black pepper and about a 1/4 of a teaspoon salt. Chop the goats cheese into small cubes, no more than 1cmx1cm and also add this to the mix. Mix all these ingredients together so well distributed throughout.
- Tip in the milk, which ideally should be at room temperature, a bit at a time and first with a spoon, and then with your hands bring the mixture into a clump of dough. Once all the dry ingredients have been gathered together, no more milk is needed.
- Tip out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out until about 3.5-4cm thick. Dip a smallish cookie cutter in flour, then stamp out your scones and transfer to the prepared tray. Remember the scones will grow in the oven so leave a sensible gap between them so they don’t merge. When all have been stamped out, reroll the scraps and continue until all the dough is used.
- Brush the scones with a beaten egg yolk, then sprinkle with a little grated parmesan for extra cheesy-ness.
- Bake for 35 minutes until golden brown on top.
makes a large jar full
1 red onion
3 red chillies (fresh)
thumb-sized piece of ginger
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
15 cardamon pods
200g soft brown sugar
250ml of cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Unfortunately making chutney requires a lot of careful chopping and peeling of the ingredients. Firstly, peel and chop the onion into small cubes and place in a large pan with the oil to begin to sweat over a peel heat.
- Peel and core the 8 peaches, before chopping the remaining peach flesh into smallish lumps. Go on to peel the ginger and finely chop, followed by the red chillies. Put to one side until ready.
- Grind the cardamon pods in a pestle and mortar, or using the end of a rolling pin, until all the fine seeds have escaped. Be careful to pick out all the empty cardamon pods as these are gross, as I learnt in my early baking days. Never eat cardamon pods!
- Turn the heat up on the pan then add all the prepared fruit and spices to the simmering onions. Remember to add in 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds as this gives a nice smoky kick. Add the soft brown sugar, then pour over the cider vinegar. Stir gently until the sugar softens and starts to dissolve, then leave the mixture to simmer over a high heat for about 45 minutes.
- If you are making enough chutney to squirrel away in a jar and keep for some time, a crucial step in this process is the sterilisation of the jar. I simply heated the jar in a preheated oven at 150*C for 15 minutes. Then as soon as possible after this stage, once the jar has cooled slightly, I spooned the chutney into it and sealed the lid on quick.
- Voilà- chutney