The combination of mature Cheddar and sage works beautifully here, and is best complemented by home-made Apple chutney . Here we use a mixture of butter and sunflower oil, which helps keep the scones moist. For light and fluffy scones, handle the dough gently, and ensure you preheat the oven well in advance so they cook quickly and don’t dry out. Try to get the strongest Cheddar you can; it does make a difference to the flavour.
MAKES 8 LARGE SCONES
50g cold unsalted butter, chopped
400g self-raising flour, plus more to dust
4 tbsp English mustard powder
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp sea salt
300g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
60–75ml whole milk, plus more to glaze
10g sage leaves
50g sunflower oil
Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan 150°C/gas mark 3½.
Rub the butter into the flour, mustard powder, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl, until you have a texture like crumbs. Add the Cheddar, mix and make a well in the centre.
Crack the eggs into a measuring jug and top up to 225ml with milk, then add the sage and oil. Blitz together using a hand-held blender. Pour into the well in the dry ingredients and mix, gradually incorporating the flour mixture to form a dough. Be gentle.
Roll the dough out carefully on a lightly floured worktop, using a floured rolling pin, to 2cm thick, trying to keep a 20cm square shape. Using a floured knife, cut into four squares, then cut each square diagonally in half to make eight triangle-shaped scones.
Place gently on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and brush the tops with a little milk. Bake for 12–15 minutes or until risen and a light golden brown. You may need to turn the tray around halfway through to ensure they cook evenly in the oven.
Transfer carefully to a wire rack with a palette knife, leave for 10 minutes, then serve while still warm, with chutney.