My sister-in-law Lynne she makes a mean cheese scone, so much so, that when I turned up at her place with a bunch of friends a couple of years back and she produced a basket of them, well, they haven't stopped talking about them since. Here we go, scones from the Wairarapa. ...
3 cups self-raising flour ¼ tsp salt 50g (a generous 1½ oz) salted butter, chopped 1½ cups grated tasty cheddar cheese 1-1¼ cups buttermilk (or more, as needed), beaten until smooth Butter for serving
1 Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Sift flour and salt into a bowl and cut in the butter with two knives or a pastry cutter. Add most of the cheese, then stir in enough buttermilk to make a soft slightly sticky dough (it is better for the dough to be moist than dry).
2 Scoop off lumps of dough with a knife transferring it to a cold baking tray (sheet) lined with baking (parchment) paper. Don’t fiddle with the dough – leave it rustic! Put a smidgin of cheese on top of each scone.
3 Bake scones for about 15 minutes, until golden on top and crunchy on the bottom. Cool on a rack and serve warm slathered with butter.
Buttermilk produces wonderfully light scones with an open texture. These are classic, flavoured only with cheese. The cheese needs to have a bit of bite, so choose an aged cheddar. You can ring the changes by adding snipped chives or chopped parsley, or a few pinches of chilli flakes.
Lynne usually pats out the dough so she gets scones a little neater than mine. But never roll it, you’ll make flat tough scones.
Scones are best eaten while still warm, or at least the day they are made. However, they can be revived if heated for 10 seconds or less in a microwave, and they can be frozen. To thaw frozen scones, warm 2-3 at a time in a microwave for about 1 minute.