Cheese Scones.

This is my favourite treat after a long day.

It might seem at first like too much work to make scones when you are tired but they are ridiculously easy, barely any washing up and just SO good straight from the oven with cold butter and nice cup of tea – 100% worth the effort. 

Cheese Scone

Ingredients.

  • 8oz self-raising flour
  • 1.5oz butter
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 50g mature cheddar cheese (or whatever you have)
  • 150ml milk

Method. Makes 4 large scones. 

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/160 fan/gas 5. Line a tray.

Place the flour in a bowl and add the salt and sugar. Add the butter in smallish pieces and ‘rub together’ (this simply means to rub together the butter with the dry ingredients between your fingers and thumbs until the mix ends up looking like breadcrumbs).

Grate in the cheese and give a quick stir. Then pour in the milk bit by bit until the mix comes together to form a dough (you might not need all of the milk so go steady).

Sprinkle your work surface with a bit of flour and tip the dough. Gently pat out so its a bit less than 1 inch thick and cut with a round cutter, placing the scones onto the tray. I usually don’t bother with all that though – I simply break the dough into pieces and place on the tray.

Brush the top with a little milk (or dribble on if no brush/cant be bothered to wash brush!) and place into the oven. Bake for something like 15 minutes until golden on top (the bottom will sound ‘hollow’ when you tap it too).

Tips.

  • Don’t knead the mixture much at all (otherwise it can get tough and dry)
  • If your dough is too wet, just add a little more flour.
  • This is a very forgiving recipe so don’t worry all that much about being completely accurate – often my butter just gets chucked in and I rarely measure the cheese or milk out.
  • You can add any extras you fancy… like chopped olives, sun-dried tomatoes, cooked bacon pieces…
  • Half of the above recipe is enough for one hungry person for dinner and makes two large scones.

Enjoy! 

Yorkshire puddings… with a twist.

I started to add food colouring to Yorkshire puddings in a bid to make them more exciting to my two boys (aged 6 and 8 years old) but I just loved how they came out! Often a generic brown on the outside it is only when you cut them open that they show off their colour inside. It makes a mundane Toad in the Hole much more fun and not only that – yorkshire puddings are super easy to make too!

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Ingredients

olive oil
3oz plain flour
1 egg
milk

Method

Preheat the oven to 200/gas 6. As the oven is warming, dribble into 6-hole muffin tin a very thin layer of olive oil (enough to cover the bottom of each muffin hole). Put this in the oven to heat as you make the mixture.

In a mixing bowl, measure the flour and add the egg and the food colouring (a couple of drops of liquid colour or a pea size amount of the colouring paste). Mix together carefully and add milk a little at a time (this will help you avoid lumps). Once your flour is combined, add enough milk to make a batter that is similar to pancakes (somewhere between thick and runny) – you don’t have to be entirely accurate – with 2 hungry boys, I always seem to be making dinner in a rush and never have time to measure the milk properly and it always turns out fine.

You can use an electric mixer for this or just some elbow grease and a spoon and if you do get lumps, either whisk a bit more or use a sieve!

Take the muffin tray out of the oven (be careful the oil in the tray will be VERY hot) and pour into the muffin holes the mixture. It will look odd at this point as the oil will sit almost on top of the mixture. Pop the tray back into the oven for 15-20 minutes.

Makes 6 individual Yorkshire puddings.

Tips
– DO NOT open the oven door until at least 15 minutes have passed! The puddings need the hot oven to rise up and will deflate into a soggy mess if the oven if opened too soon!
– If you want purple puddings use more colouring than you think – too little and it becomes a weird grey colour.
– A striking yellow is quite difficult to achieve as the puddings are a pale yellow to start with so for a first attempt, try a strong colour like blue or green to avoid disappointment.
– I prefer the food colouring pastes as they are easier to control and I like the gel colours the least (you need to use a lot for a strong colour and that makes them expensive).
– Keep food colouring away from your hands as it can stain for hours!
– If you are making them for the first time for your kids, don’t tell them first – their expression is priceless!

As an aside… this is the same recipe for simple crepes (just fry the batter in a well oiled frying pan)

… you can also colour these too.

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Sausage and Baked Bean Pie.

This might sound like a strange recipe but this is a favourite of mine from when I was a little girl and its very easy to make. I love it best with mashed potato, peas and plenty of salad cream but thats just me.

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Ingredients…

  • 6oz plain flour
  • 2oz butter
  • 1oz lard or veg shortening
  • ice cold water
  • 2 or 3 sausages per person
  • 1 large tin of baked beans

Method…

Put the flour, butter and lard/veg shortening in a bowl and rub them together until you have a bowl of crumbs. Add the water slowly and mix until the pastry comes together to form a dough (try not to work the pastry too much at this stage). Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes. The time in the fridge allows the butter to harden slightly and for the gluten to relax. You can make the pastry earlier in the day or just before you make the pie, but allowing at least 15 minutes in the fridge will improve your pastry.

Whilst the pastry is chillling, preheat the oven to 200 degrees (180 fan). Take the skins off the sausages and place them into pyrex dishes (either 2 dishes big enough to make individual pies or 1 large dish), squashing them a little, and place in oven for 10 minutes.

Take the sausages out of the oven and tip beans over them. Roll out the pastry (on a floured surface) and place over the top of the sausage/bean mixture. You can egg wash here if you like but equally delicious if you don’t. Cut a little hole in the top and put back into the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden on top.

Serves 2 people.