The last in the ‘Buns & Scones’ section of the book and opposite the last recipe baked – Potato Scones.
My reason for not baking this before now is that I am not a lover of olives in fact I loathe them, I just don’t see what people rave about. However, having recently picked some pattypan squashes from the allotment, I thought I’d make a bowl of spicy soup to go with this bake and hopefully it would disguise the taste of the olives!
The first thing I realised is that I actually needed more olives than I had bought – I admit I did buy the smallest jar of pitted black olives I could find. However, just because I don’t like olives I didn’t want to put fewer into the recipe as it would end up as a ‘cheese scone’, so instead I decided to halve the mixture and make a smaller version. The measurements I refer to here are for the original version (not halved) and I’m pleased to say it worked out just fine.
The first thing I noticed reading through the recipe was the fact it was one large scone which I was pleased to see, there would be no need to roll it out and cut the mixture again and again!
The oven was put on to preheat at Fan 210°C and a 30cm x 23cm traybake lightly greased.
Into a large bowl I measured out 450g self-raising flour and added to this 2 level tsp baking powder together with a level teaspoon of salt (typing this up, I’ve a horrible feeling I actually put 1tsp salt into my mixture and not half a teaspoon – as I made half the recipe, oops). These were all stirred through together and 100g butter was added and rubbed in with my fingertips until the mixture resembled breadcrumbs. 200g grated cheese was stirred through, together with 100g roughly chopped pitted black olives – yuk, they didn’t look very appetising at all, I just hoped the scone would be worth eating!
In a small bowl 2 eggs were broken and made up to 300ml with milk. This was lightly whisked together and then stirred into the flour mixture to form a dough. Once the dough had been formed it was turned out and lightly and quickly kneaded until it was smooth. Mary says to roll the dough out to a rectangle to fit into the baking tin. I decided as I’d halved the recipe and I was using a smaller tin, it would be easier to push and shape the dough once it was in the tin (and it also saved on a little bit of washing up), so I put the dough into the tin and using my fingers pushed it out to the corners. The dough was marked into 12 squares and the top lightly brushed with milk before popping it into the oven.
After 15 minutes the scone was removed from the oven and the top sprinkled with 25g Parmesan. It was them put back into the oven for another 5 minutes after which the scone was well risen and golden in colour. It was removed from the oven and taken out of the tin and put on a wire rack to cool. I must admit it did look rather good.
It was time to taste it, I really wasn’t looking forward to this, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it actually tasted quite good. I had used a very mature cheddar cheese in the mixture, so I think this may have disguised the flavour of the olives a little. Normally the olives set my teeth on edge, but they didn’t this time and the scone itself was so light, the best I think I’ve ever made. It may have tasted a little salty (as I do think I put the whole amounth in), but it wasn’t too salty. Definitely something to go with a lovely hot bowl of soup.