Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Smokey Date Cheddar Scones

Ever since purchasing Kim Boyce's Good to the Grain I have been inspired to try different flours in my baking.  Some experiments have met with great success while others have been truly a flop. 

Consistently I have been impressed with the addition of barley flour as a replacement for white all purpose.  It lends a depth of flavour without making your baked goods too heavy.

I love a good scone.  Sweet or savoury, they both are a favourite of mine.  This one rides that fine line between savoury and sweet.  I was pretty nervous combining these flavours, but ultimately was surprised how well it came out. Next time I think I'll increase the paprika, now that I know the flavour suits.  I used an Irish cheddar (Dubliner) but any old cheddar will work.

We ended up eating ours with a tomato red pepper soup I made and the combination was striking.  I've included the soup recipe below because the two together managed to be a match made in heaven. It's a very simple soup, but when combined with the scone it is company worthy. I have a feeling this will be my new go-to lunch for those occasions. 

Date Cheddar Smokey Scones
loosely adapted from Kim Boyce's Strawberry Scone
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup butter
1 cup barley flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 cup shredded old cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 cup chopped Medjool Dates
Add lemon juice to milk and allow to sit 10min. Sift together dry ingredients.  Add cold cubed butter and cut in with knives or pastry cutter.  I generally use my fingers.  Add the dates.  I tossed the dates with a little of the dry mix before putting in the bowl to avoid the dates sticking together. Add milk and stir together until just mixed.  Divide dough into 2 balls.  On a floured surface, push down into a circle and then cut into 6-8 triangles.  Repeat with second ball.  You can freeze the scones prior to baking if the recipe makes more than you need.  I pull them out of the freezer and bake from frozen for about 5min longer.
Bake at 350degrees for 20min.  Taste great warm!

Tomato Red Pepper Soup 1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion
1 clove garlic
1 red pepper roasted (see note)
1 can whole tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth (make your own here)
salt/pepper to taste
Heat olive in oil in large pot and add onions.  Sauté for approximately 10 min until soft.  Add garlic and cook for 1min more.  Add red pepper, tomatoes and vegetable broth.  Bring to boil and then cover and simmer for approximately 30 min.  Puree with immersion blender and then season with salt and pepper.  Enjoy!
Note: I roasted my red pepper on the barbecue, but you can easily used jarred roasted red peppers in this recipe.


  1. the dates and cheddar sound great together! good thought. :) speaking of KB, i need to gear up some motivation here to make her banana cereal muffins - have you tried??

  2. Have not tried the banana cereal muffins, so you'll have to, let me know if you do. And hurry up and make these scones, they are really, really good