One of my favourite things about this time of year is the bounty of local spring onions to give dishes a milder, delicate onion flavour than its robust, powerful wintery counterpart. As our crops of spring onion mature for harvest at Left Field in Neilston, I start dreaming of ways to make the most of the season with sauces, soups, salad dressings, and of course, my favourite savoury scone.
Scones originated in Scotland but were originally made with oats and griddle-baked, rather than as we make them now using wheat flour and baked in the oven. I personally don’t add egg to sweet scones, but here it helps to keep the scone light and fluffy despite the hefty amount of cheese and spring onion!
Generally speaking, what grows together goes together, as you’ll appreciate with the addition of mild, uncured (or green) garlic which grows a few steps away from our rows of spring onion. More delicate than cured garlic, this nutritional and flavour powerhouse compliments both the spring onion and sharp mature cheddar.
This is great as a breakfast or snack on the go, especially if you opt to add in extras like chunks of cooked mushroom, peppers, spinach or really whatever veg your heart desires!
makes 6 large scones
225g self-raising flour (or 215g plain flour with 11g baking powder added)
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp sea salt
100g butter, grated
150g cheddar cheese, grated – if you want VERY cheesy scones, you can increase this to 250g
4 spring onions, washed, trimmed and finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, finely grated or minced
1 large egg, beaten
2 – 4 tablespoons plain yoghurt
Preparation (about 15 minutes, plus 25 minutes baking time)
1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 6, 400F or 200C Grease or butter a large baking/cookie tray.
2. Sift flour and cayenne pepper into a bowl. Rub in the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
3. Add cheese, minced garlic and the chopped spring onion, and mix well. Stir in the eggs and yogurt; I have suggested between 2 and 4 tablespoons of yoghurt, add it a tablespoon at a time to get the right consistency. The dough will be very soft.
4. Knead very lightly on a very well floured surface, until the dough comes together. Pat out dough to about 2.5cm (1in) deep and cut out 6 scones.
5. Put the scones on the baking sheet, spaced evenly apart, and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown and risen. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire cooling rack to avoid moisture gathering at the bottom of the scones.
Once cooled, the scones can be frozen for up to 2 months. To thaw, remove from freezer and let rest at room temperature until no longer solid, about 1 hour. Warm through in the oven before serving, though they can be thoroughly enjoyed without re-heating!