A few years ago, I had the most delicious cheese scones with ham and scallions at the café of the Culinary Institute of America in upstate New York. I tried to imitate them a couple of times using the basic recipe for scones from The Joy of Cooking but I was never quite satisfied with the results.
Yesterday I made one of my standard weekend breakfast treats, the Basic Buttermilk Biscuits from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, when my eyes fell on a few leftover slices of boiled ham and a bunch of scallions that I had bought last week but did not use. I decided to make a second batch of scones. Without any butter or eggs, they turned out far better than any of the previous trials.
Next time I might add a bit more cheddar, ham, and scallions but I am happy with the scones as they are. Or, shall I rather call them biscuits?
Cheese Scones with Ham and Scallions
2 cups (10 ounces) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 bunch scallions
3 slices boiled ham
1 ounce grated sharp cheddar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or with parchment paper.
2. Mix the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
3. Trim the scallions. Remove the green part except for about 1 inch. Chop the scallions finely.
4. Chop the ham finely. Add it to the flour mixture together with the scallions and the grated cheese.
5. Whisk the canola oil and the buttermilk in a separate bowl. Add to the flour mixture and blend with a rubber spatula until just combined.
6. Place 9 equally sized mounds on the prepared baking sheet. They don’t have to look neat – in fact, the less you handle dough, the lighter the scones will be.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Place on wire rack and cool completely.
Makes 9 scones