In the Kitchen: Tomato-Parmesan Scones

Dear Constant Reader,

On Saturday I threw a little tea party at The Manor. It had been a while since my last one, but I hadn’t been feeling up to an elaborate to-do. I hadn’t been in a good place recently and I was badly missing my friends. So, I sent an invitation to a “low-key tea party”, promising only tea, scones and jam, and maybe cake.

And then something exciting happened (more on that later) which got me feeling motivated again. While I still didn’t make any tea sandwiches, I ended up baking two kinds of scones and two types of cake. And, it being October, I had a spooky theme going with the cakes and serving ware. I served…

Coffin brownies filled with Nutella and raspberries, served on a spirit board tray. I used the recipe for Supernatural Brownies from the NY Times and they were, in fact, scary good!

Spice cake tombstones, served on a skull cake stand.

Scones with currants and dried sour cherries (from our tree) from my favorite scone recipe. The heap of scones obscures the charming Victorian skeleton decoration on the bowl.

And these scones were accompanied by sour cherry jam and blood orange marmalade (both homemade) and butter. Please note the skull spoons and skeleton knife (the blade says “poison”).

Also, I made these savory scones as an experiment and I was very happy with the results. The recipe comes from Tea Fit for a Queen: Recipes & Drinks for Afternoon Tea and I’ve converted it from metric. I think the recipe could easily be doubled (and you want to).

Sun-Dried Tomato and Parmesan Scones
8 oz. self-rising flour (or about 1 1/4 cup flour, heaping 1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon salt)
1 3/4 oz. unsalted butter (3 Tablespoons plus a little)
1 1/2 oz. grated Parmesan
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 1/2 oz. chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment (I use a Silpat).

Sift flour into a large bowl. Rub the butter into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the Parmesan, thyme leaves, and sun-dried tomatoes.

Pour in the milk. Gently stir until the dough just comes together. Knead lightly until the dough is smooth.

Pat dough into a round about an inch thick. Cut out scones. I got about 16 2″ round scones, but you could make them bigger. Bake about 10-15 minutes until barely browned.

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