Sage Derby and Onion Buttermilk Scones

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.

Sage Derby Scones

These are filled with sweet caramelised onions, cubes of Sage Derby cheese and topped with a little Gruyere cheese and a crispy sage leaf.

Sage Derby Scones2

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.

Ingredients:
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

Sage Derby Scones1

Method:
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.

Sage Derby Scones4

Pre-heat the oven to 220ºC/425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment or a non-stick liner

Sage Derby Scones3

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.

Sage Derby Scones7

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.

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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.

Sage Derby Scones6

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.

Stilton, Walnut and Apple Scones

These savoury scones are flavoured with blue cheese, walnuts, apples and sage. They are really quick to make and just the thing to bake on an Autumn Sunday afternoon.

Stilton Walnut Scones

The secret to these is toasting the walnuts, it really brings them to life and they go so well with the Stilton and apple.

Ingredients:
380g self-raising flour
85g cold butter, cut into dice
1tsp salt
100g walnut halves
180g stilton cheese, rind removed and crumbled
1 large, crisp apple – grated and squeezed to remove most of the juice
8 sage leaves, finely shredded and chopped
200ml cream
1 egg yolk and a little milk to make an egg wash

Stilton scone closeup

Method:
Toss the walnuts in a dry pan and toast them on a medium heat. Keep them on the move and don’t let them burn. You know when they are ready as they start to smell nutty and toasted and they will take on a more golden colour – around 5 minutes. Set aside to cool, before roughly breaking up or chopping them.

Place the flour and salt in a bowl and rub in the butter. Do this by hand, or in a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. The butter should look like small peas and the mixture will be like rough breadcrumbs.

Add the sage, apple, walnuts and stir through the crumbled Stilton cheese.

Using a fork, or with the mixer on low speed, add the cream to create a rough dough. Do not overmix.

Turn out onto a floured board and wrap in plastic, forming a disc. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

When you are ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 190°C/375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment or a non-stick liner.

Roll or flatten out the dough to a thickness of around 5cm and cut out your scones. If you use a 6cm cutter, you should get around 8 altogether.

Stilton scones1

Place the scones on the lined baking sheet and brush with the egg wash.

Bake for around 20 minutes, or until baked through and the tops are golden brown.

Stilton scone open

These are lovely, hot from the oven with salted butter and perhaps some chutney and a little more of the Stilton. They make a delicious afternoon treat on a rainy autumn day.

Mini Cheddleton & Chive Scones

These little bite-sized scones are made with Cheddleton from the Staffordshire Cheese Company, which is a creamy and quite crumbly cheese with a nice tang. It goes perfectly with the freshly snipped chives that are in these little scones. These are very nice, served warm with proper butter.

Cheese chive scones

Ingredients:
250g of self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1tsp English mustard powder
125g cold butter – cut into small cubes
150g grated Cheddleton Cheese plus extra for topping with
2tbs finely chopped chives
120ml whole/full fat milk
1 egg beaten and a little milk to make an egg wash

Method:
Sieve the flour, baking powder, mustard and salt in a bowl with the paddle attachment fitted. Add the cold, diced butter and mix until the butter is mixed into the flour but still visible.

Add the cheese and milk and mix until just combined.

Form a flattish disc and wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C/425 degrees F

When you are ready to back, turn onto a floured board and roll out to around 2.5cm thick and use a small round cutter – around 2cm.

Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or silicon mat and brush the tops with a little egg wash and more of the grated cheese.

cheese and chive scones

Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden and well risen.

Best served warm from the oven with salted butter and perhaps a glass of wine.

Cheese scone butter