Using buttermilk in scones results in a really moist, tender and flaky texture that makes these a really delicious treat. So often, scones can be dry and crumby – especially ones that you buy and even with butter, they really aren’t very good. Home made ones are always better and they are so easy to make.
These are filled with sweet caramelised onions, cubes of Sage Derby cheese and topped with a little Gruyere cheese and a crispy sage leaf.
I decided to leave the cheese in cubes, rather than grate it as I wanted there to be little pockets of the Sage Derby inside the individual scones.
2-3 onions, finely chopped
knob of butter and a splash of olive oil for frying
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
250g Self-raising flour
70g cold butter, cut into cubes
1 egg, beaten
100ml buttermilk, plus extra for brushing the scones
1 (heaped) tsp of English mustard
100g Sage Derby cheese, I used Fowlers – cut into little dice
A little gruyere or cheddar to sprinkle on top of the scones – around 50g
Six sage leaves
Start by cooking the onions. Heat a small knob of butter and a splash of oil in a non-stick pan and gently cook the onions with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook them low and slow until the have reduced, become sticky and caramelised. Set aside on some kitchen paper to absorb excess oil and leave to cool completely.
Pre-heat the oven to 220ºC/425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment or a non-stick liner
Rub the butter into the flour, either by hand or in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. The mixture should look like rough breadcrumbs.
Mix the mustard in with the buttermilk and then add to the egg.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and mix briefly, to just combine. Add the onions and mix again, just so they are incorporated and then stir through the cheese cubes.
Sprinkle a little flour on the parchment or baking liner. Bring the dough together and place directly onto the liner. Pat the dough out into a disc that is around 1.5 inches/3.5cm thick.
Use a pizza cutter and cut the dough into six wedges and move them away from each other to give them room to expand a little.
Brush the tops with a little buttermilk and sprinkle with a small amount of grated cheese.
Rub the sage leaves with a tiny amount of olive oil and press onto the top of each scone.
Bake for 12-15 minutes until they have become golden, well risen and sound hollow if you turn them over and give them a little tap.
Best enjoyed warm with real butter and I like to serve them with chutney. This one was an apple, date and stout one which worked very well. Perfect for afternoon tea or an after school treat.