Cheddar & Spring Onion Scones

It’s funny where inspiration can come from. A friend mentioned a local home tour that’s a fundraiser for a local historic preservation society.  I’ve been trying to force myself out of my comfort zone homebody-ness, and decided to join the group. It would be an all-day affair on the far side of town, and I thought – hey! It would be nice to have snacks.  We got our tickets for an 8:45am start time. Hey…..that’s kinda early. Guess I’ll need to do breakfasty things. Finger food. And of course, scones immediately came to mind. My friend D. loves cheese. As in, if he could marry cheese and coat himself in it daily, he would.  So, okay – cheese scones. Then I remembered this forking deelish scallion corn muffin recipe I’d found, and thought yes! That’s it – scallions and cheese! And D. is from New Mexico and knows good green chile- so scallion, green chile and cheddar. Angel choir. Idea is born. The night before arrives, and…….I only have the hot green chile left in the freezer.  Hmm…. D. and I will love it, but the other four folks coming are unknowns….ok, back to onion and cheddar. And then of course, because I can only eat the cheese if I take a shit ton of cheese pills, some cranberry orange ones, as well. But we’ll save those for another day.

Whew! Such a long tale. The next step was the preparation – I’d read from either Jamie Oliver or Nigella to put scones in the freezer for half an hour before baking (which is awesome, btw) and started to wonder if I could make them up the night before and then just bake them in the morning. Because, you know, twenty more minutes of sleep is ALWAYS a good thing.  So, the short answer is yes. It is totally possible, and has completely changed myscone game forever. Buh-bye, buttcrack of dawn. Hello, prep at night and bake while I’m in the shower. I like this!
Alrighty, shall we play?  You’re gonna LOVE these. They were a HUGE hit with my home-tour friends.

Ingredients:
The Dry:
2 c. AP flour
1 ½ tsp. Baking powder
¼ tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Salt
2 Tbsp. Sugar
½ c. Butter, icy cold and cubed
The Add-Ins:
½ c. Sharp cheddar, cut in to ¼” cubes.  Yes, really. Do not shred, do not cube larger.
4 Spring onions/scallions sliced in ¼” rondelles.
The Wet:
¾ c. Buttermilk.
The Egg Wash (optional)
Whisk one egg with 2 Tbsp. milk

Directions:

The night before, In a bowl, mix the dry except the butter. Then toss in the butter, and with a pastry cutter smoosh and twist until the butter is a little smaller than peas.  Do not get to the crumb-stage; if you do, your scones will be more Englishy cake-like and not have the biscuit-like flaky layers of American scones.
Stir in the Add-Ins, then the buttermilk. Combine with your hands until you have a firm slightly sticky dough.  It is okay if you overwork it a little, as it is going to rest overnight in the fridge. (Is this not the most awesome part of this or what????)  Scrape the dough on to the dusted parchment. Dust your hands with flour (You might need to scrape/wash them off first.), and shape the dough in to either one 1” tall 8” diameter circle, or two ½” tall 6” diameter circles.  Fold it up in the parchment and put it in the fridge. Nighty-night, Felicia!
In the morning, preheat your oven to 400*.  Take out the dough and slice up your scones.   Either eight with the big circle, or twelve (six each) with the little ones.  Place on the parchment on a cooking tray. Brush with the egg wash (or milk or cream), and bake until puffed-up and golden – about 22-25 minutes for the big’uns, and 18-20 for the little’uns.
That’s it. Enjoy. These are really, really yummy. And would be really, really good with a bowl of chili. Or just shoveled in your mouth hot out of the oven. These are that yummy.

Do you have to wait overnight? Of course not – you could pop these in the oven right way. You’ll just need to be biscuit-gentle with that dough.

Bon apetit, y’all. I’d love to hear how yours turn out!


Tian Tourte

Where the hell have I been? Having a severe case of creativity block.  Himself and I decided to do lots more vegetarian fare, and I’ve been using all my brain for what the fuck to cook for dinner. This didn’t leave much energy for the blog.  Then I made this the other night, and my favorite Biker Betch at work saw the Instagram and was like,” is that going on the blog or what?” And, poof. There we have it. All thanks the awesome BB. Thank you, sweetness, you are the best!

This is a recipe for a 20cm (about 8”) tarte, and will give 4-6 big slices.  So, enough for four with a salad. I baked this lovely in the forkin’ amazeballs tarte pan I got from Lakeland.  Seriously – without blind baking the bottom crust was crisp and not soggy. I love this pan so much, I want to marry it.

Seriously – can you see that crispiness at the bottom? SO awesome!

When you’re picking out the tomato, squash, and onion – try to get them as close in diameter as possible.  Because you’ll be stacking them, the uniformity will become important.

Well, shall we? Let’s do this.

Tian Tourte

The Crust
⅓ a recipe of Martha’s pate brisee. (I used a 4:1 ratio of AP to WW flour, though)

The Base
¼ c. Ricotta or Greek yogurt ( or ¼ c tofutti sour cream mixed with ½ tsp. Lactic acid. If you were feeling REALLY lazy, you could also just use the egg and 1/4c. Boursin and skip the garlic and herbes)
1 egg
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. GOOD Herbes de Provence


The Veg
1 zucchini, sliced 1/4” rondelles
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in 1/4″ rondelles
1 small white onion, siced in 1/4″ rondelles
1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper, sliced in 1/4″ strips

Topping (optional):
¼ c to ½ c shredded cheese (Gruyere, romano, asiago, etc.)

Alrighty, my lovelies.  Roll out your crust ¼” thick, form it in your quiche tin and stick it in the fridge. Preheat your oven to 375*.

Get your mis en place going – slice the veg, whisk together the base. Get out a cookie sheet and line it with parchment.  I find it much easier to bake loose-bottomed pans that way, plus it catches any drips. Once you’re set up, take the raw crust from the fridge and set the pan on the lined tray. Pour in and smooth the base.  Next, pick up one slice each of the tomato, squash, onion, pepper and stack them. Set these on their side on the prepared base, working from the outside edge of the pan. See the picture to reference what it should look like.

 Keep adding your alternated veg in a circle until you make it all the way around. Then start the next ring and go until you’ve used up all your veg. Sprinkle it with some S&P, and cheese if you are lucky and not dairy-impaired like we are, or some olive oil if you are.

Slide the tray in the oven and bake about 35-40 minutes, until the crust is golden and the veg tender. Your nose should tell you when it’s done.

Let cool about 10 minutes before serving. To get this bad boy out of the pan, once it’s cooled a bit, set the pan on a bowl or soup can – something narrower than the bottom.  The ring part of the pan should just drop down the counter, leaving you to slide the pie from the bottom on to a serving plate or cutting board.

(And, if you want to put this puppy over the top, make some really good garlic butter and toast some breadcrumbs in it and then sprinkle that on the slices as you serve them. Soooo yummy!)

That’s it. Bon apetit. Let me know if you like it!