400g plain flour
75g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp salt
25g baking powder
1 eating apple
Small handful of fresh sage and chives
150g extra mature vintage cheddar
2 medium eggs (plus 1 for glazing)
Preheat the oven to 200C and line 2 baking sheets with some greaseproof paper. To make the scones, place the flour into a large bowl and rub in the butter until it resembles large breadcrumbs. Next add the sugar, salt, baking powder and mix well until evenly distributed.
Wash and dry the apple, keep the skin on but remove the core then chop into 1cm cubes and add to the mixture. Chop your herbs and add to the mixture along with your cheddar. I prefer to cube or crumble my cheese into the mixture rather than grate—it means you get nice big chunks of cheese alongside your apple rather than the cheese disappearing in the scone.
Add the eggs and buttermilk to the mixture and mix until it forms a ball of dough before tipping out on to a lightly floured surface.
Bring the dough together and then pat out into a rectangle. Fold the dough in half and turn it a quarter turn. Pat the dough down again, fold over and turn once more. Repeat this process two more times before leaving to rest under a tea towel for around 20 mins.
After the dough has rested, lightly dust the work surface and a rolling pin and roll out the dough to around 3cm in thickness. Cut the scones out using a round cutter—I use one that is around 5cm in diameter. Place the scones on to the prepared baking sheets, cover with a tea towel and leave to rest for a further 15 mins.
Whisk the egg with a pinch of salt and glaze the scones, making sure not to let the egg drip down the sides. Repeat the glazing and then bake in a hot oven for around 12-15 mins, or until the scones have risen and are golden.
Serve warm from the oven with butter and a cup of tea as a mid-afternoon snack, or fill with thickly cut baked ham and pickle for a twist on a ploughman’s lunch.