Cheddar scones with country ham

  • For the scones
  • 600g plain flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 360ml buttermilk, plus more for brushing
  • 150g unsalted butter, cut into 0.5cm cubes and softened
  • 675g grated cheddar cheese
  • 65g chopped spring onion
  • 225g thinly sliced country ham or prosciutto
  • Red pepper jam, recipe follows, for serving
  • For the red pepper jam
  • 3 large red peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 180ml apple cider vinegar
  • 675g sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp crushed chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp minced jalapeno
  • 3 tbsp liquid pectin
For the scones:
1) In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, pepper, and salt. Add the buttermilk and butter and mix just until incorporated. Don't overmix.

2) Add 1/3 of the cheddar (leave the rest of the cheese out to come to room temperature) and the spring onions and quickly mix to combine. Wrap in cling film and chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.

3) Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. When you are ready to bake, spray 2 baking trays with nonstick cooking spray. Tear off pieces of dough and roll into balls about the size of a golf ball. Arrange them on the baking sheets, brush them with a little buttermilk, and bake them until golden brown, about 10 to 14 minutes.

4) Meanwhile, in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, whip the remaining room temperature cheese until it is smooth.

5) Slice each scone in half and spread a tsp of whipped cheddar onto the bottom. Cut a piece of ham to fit and put it on top of the cheddar. Dollop with 1/2 tsp red pepper jam and cover with the top of the scone. Repeat with remaining ingredients and arrange on serving platters to serve.

For the red pepper jam:
1) Add the peppers to the bowl of a food processor and process until they are coarsely chopped but not pureed. Transfer the peppers to a large pan and add the cider vinegar, sugar, salt, crushed chilli flakes and jalapeno. Mix well.

2) Put the pan over a medium-high heat and bring the mixture to the boil, stirring frequently. Add the pectin and continue to cook at a slow rolling boil, stirring frequently, until the jam drips very slowly from a metal spoon, about 20 minutes.

3) Pour into jars, allow to cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

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