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Sunday, 19 August 2012

Spicy Cheese Scones & Chutney

Makes 6 large scones or 12 small ones
225g / 8oz self-raising flour, plus extra
3 streaky bacon rashers, finely chopped
¼tsp salt
75g / 3oz chilled butter, diced
½tsp dried chilli flakes
3 spring onions, finely chopped
75g / 3 oz grated mature cheddar
60-75ml /2-2 ½fl oz milk, plus extra for brushing
To serve
Slices of cheddar cheese
Punnet of cress
6tbsp chutney to serve

Preheat the oven to 200C / Fan 180C / Gas 6.  Line a baking sheet with baking parchment and set aside.  Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the bacon pieces until crisp and golden. Tip out on to kitchen paper and cool.  Sieve the flour and salt into a food processor or bowl and add the butter.  Pulse if you are using a food processor or rub the butter between your fingertips until you have coarse crumbs.  Stir in the chilli flakes, spring onions, bacon if using and 50g / 2oz cheese.  Gradually add the milk and mix until you have a soft dough.

Turn out onto a floured board and lightly knead until the dough comes together.  Roll out to a 2.5cm / 1inch thickness and cut into rounds using a 6cm / 2 1/2inch cutter or 3cm / 1 ½ inch cutter if you want small ones.  Reroll until you have used up the dough.  Place on to the prepared tray and top each scone with a light brushing of milk and a sprinkle of cheese.  Bake for 12 minutes for large ones and 8-10 minutes for small ones when scones should be risen and golden.  Transfer to a wire rack and cool.  To serve halve and butter, then sandwich with cress, cheese slices and chutney.

To get ahead: the scones can be made a day ahead and stored in an airtight container.

To freeze: The scones can be frozen up to 3 months ahead.  Defrost then warm through by wrapping in foil and placing in a medium heat oven for 10 minutes.

Note: you can make the scones vegetarian by omitting the bacon.

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