Fall has arrived in Cyprus. It’s not immediately obvious, as the days are still hot, and the beaches still busy. But, in the mornings, it is tangibly cooler and the sunrises that little bit later. As I have said before, I am not such a fan of the summer fading away. I enjoy the autumn coolers and cooler weather, but I always feel sad that summer is over. On the other hand, it does give me the opportunity to begin to bake and spend more time in a warmer kitchen. And for a lot of people it also means it is back to school for their children. These scones are a favourite of mine. I make them wherever I am in the world – Canada or Cyprus. In Canada I used buttermilk. In Cyprus I cannot find buttermilk, so use a substitute made from yogurt and milk. I mix up the flavours depending on what I feel like. Sometimes I use all cheddar, other times olives, and in this particular case, I went with cheddar, chive and lountza – a Cypriot smoked ham. Chives have not yet become very popular in Cyprus. I occasionally see them in the major grocery stores, but spring onions are more easily bought and you can substitute chives with spring onions if you wish. The batter is a little bit sticky when you make it – but this is normal. You can roll the dough out and use a knife to cut out triangle scones if you wish too. Hope you are all doing well. I have handed in most of my cookbook now but still have a few shots and recipes to go. I am trying to enjoy the last remnants of the summer warmth over here, and indulging in some autumn recipes all at the same time now. September is a good month.
CHEDDAR, CHIVE AND LOUNTZA SCONES
2 cups Mitsides Village Flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup salted butter, cold, chopped into small cubs
2/3 cup buttermilk (or add 2 tablespoons yogurt to a 3/4 of a cup and fill up the remaining space with milk)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup finely chopped Lountza, or smoked ham
1/2 cup grated yellow cheddar
2 tablespoons finely diced chives, or spring onions
Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder with a fork. Rub the butter into the flour mixture with the heel of your hand to create a coarse meal. Add the cheddar, Lountza and chives and toss the mixture together. In a small bowl, mix together the egg and buttermilk. Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and use your hands to create a soft dough. It will be sticky. Form 6 free form scones and place them on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.