Monday, 20 February 2012
Perl Las Blue Cheese, Bacon and Spring Onion Buttermilk Scones
Perl Las is an award winning Welsh Blue Cheese produced by Caws Cenarth Cheese from organic cows milk. It's a beautiful creamy cheese, with its origins as a Caerphilly cheese, and which has delicate blue overtones which, while strong, are not overpowering. With St David's Day in mind, I fancied trying the Perl Las out in some savoury scone recipes. After doing some research, nothing I found was quite right, so I decided to try and amalgamate some ideas to produce my own version.
Although I used Perl Las, you could use any blue cheese, but you will get a slightly different flavour. I decided I wanted to add some bacon, after all blue cheese and bacon hold a natural affinity. To freshen the taste, I also decided to use some chopped spring onion. The resulting scone tastes gorgeous; lovely and cheesy with the bacon giving a salty bite and a background hint of sweetness from the sugar. If there was anything I'd consider adding, it might be to add in some ground black pepper. However, Mike thought they were fab as is (although he did take a sample of four scones before he made up his mind ;-) ). We also tried them spread with a little cranberry and red onion marmalade - all I can say is wow! Well worth it.
Ingredients (makes 10)
225g plain flour
1 tbspn baking powder
1/2 tspn salt
85g cold unsalted butter, diced
1 large egg
175g Perl Las cheese, crumbled
2 spring onions, chopped
4 rashers good streaky bacon, cooked till crisp then drained and crumbled
a beaten egg to glaze the scones before cooking
Preheat the oven to 180 fan / 200 conventional.
Place the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Rub in the cold butter until the butter resembles lumps no bigger than small peas and is well distributed throughout the flour. (I used my KitchenAid to do this, using the flat beater for about 3-4 minutes).
Add the sugar, cheese, bacon and spring onions. Mix through.
Add the egg and the buttermilk and mix to form a soft and sticky dough - do not overwork.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly to bring together. Pat out to a depth of 1/2 inch. Cut out scones and place on a baking sheet (I use one with a silicone liner). Brush with a little beaten egg,
Bake in the middle of the oven for 12 - 15 minutes till risen and golden.
Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool.
These are lovely still warm from the oven with a bit of relish or chutney.
The flavour develops as they cool, but as with all scones, they are best eaten on the day they are made. I hope you like them.