Delia

Tiny Cheese, Onion and Olive Scones

These are so moreish that I don't think your guests could possibly survive on just one. They are simple to make and freeze superbly once cooked, provided you defrost and re-heat them in a hot oven for about 4 minutes before serving. If you're making them on the day of serving, split them once they're cooled and spread with a little herb cheese or a creamy blue cheese like Cambazola. Warm them in a hot oven just before serving.

Vegetarians might like to know that a vegetarian parmesan-style cheese is available from Bookhams


Makes about 28

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Christmas.

Tiny Cheese, Onion and Olive Scones
Ingredients
 1½ oz (40 g) Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano), grated (see recipe introduction)
 1½ oz (40 g) strong Cheddar, grated
 1 medium onion, diced
 6 black olives, pitted and chopped
 1 tablespoon olive oil
 6 oz (175 g) self-raising flour
 ½ level teaspoon salt
 ½ level teaspoon mustard powder
 ½ level teaspoon cayenne pepper
 1 oz (25 g) butter
 1 large egg
 approximately 2-3 tablespoons milk
 freshly milled black pepper
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).
Equipment
You will also need a baking sheet, lightly greased, and a 1¼ inch (3 cm) plain pastry cutter.

Method

Fry the onion in the oil over a highish heat for about 5-6 minutes or until it's a nice brown caramel colour and darkened at the edges.

Keep it moving about so that it doesn't burn. Now transfer it to a plate to cool.

While that's happening, take a large mixing bowl, sift in the flour, salt, mustard powder and cayenne, and add a good grinding of black pepper (the scones need to have a piquant bite).

Now rub in the butter, toss in the cooled onion, the olives and two thirds of the grated cheeses, forking them in evenly.

Beat the egg and pour this in, mixing first with a knife and finally with your hands, adding only enough milk to make a soft dough – it mustn't be too sticky.

Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface, knead it gently till it's smooth, then roll it out to about ¾ inch (2 cm) thick, being careful not to roll it too thinly.

Next, use a 1¼ inch (3 cm) plain cutter for cutting: place it lightly on the dough and give a sharp tap to stamp out the scones.

Lightly knead together and re-roll any trimmings.

Then, when all the scones are cut, brush them with milk, top them with the remaining grated cheese and bake them near the top of the oven for 10-12 minutes.

Remove them to a wire rack to cool.

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