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Beetroot and Cheese Scones

Ingredients:

  1. 175 g unbleached plain flour

  2. 2 and ¼ tsp baking powder

  3. 3/4 tsp salt

  4. 25 g cold butter, small dice

  5. 75 g strong cheddar cheese

  6. 50 ml buttermilk (or dairy or non-dairy milk with a little lemon juice added)

  7. 1 tsp grain mustard

  8. 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrin’s for preference)

  9. ½ raw or cooked small beetroot finely grated

  10. extra flour for rolling surface

  11. a little milk for brushing on the scones (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 220 (200C fan). Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Rub the butter in with your fingertips, but preferably with a pastry cutter, until it’s evenly ‘crumbly’.

  2. Mix in the cheese. In a small bowl or jug, stir together the buttermilk, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and beetroot shreds. Gradually add the wet mixture to the flour, stirring with a knife, until you achieve a soft dough and a ‘clean’ bowl. If there is quite a lot of flour that refuses to amalgamate, add a tablespoon more buttermilk. Resist the temptation to handle it with warm hands or you will get tough scones.

  3. Plop the dough onto a floured surface and gently and not too precisely pat out the dough to about 1 inch (2.5 cm) or a bit deeper. Flour a 2 ½ inch (6 cm) scone cutter and cut out 5-7 scones (depending on the depth of dough and size of cutter). Place the scones on a well-oiled baking sheet, and brush the tops with milk. Bake on a high shelf for 15-20 minutes until the scones are well-risen and very golden.

  4. Pierce a scone with a toothpick and, if it comes out clean, it is done. Cool briefly on a wire rack (don’t leave on the baking sheet or they will get soggy bottoms). Serve warm with lots of salted butter. These scones are also brilliant with nearly any soup.

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