Cheese & Bacon Scones with Homemade Piccalilli
What better way to end the weekend with a lazy rainy Sunday morning tea and a plate of cheese and bacon scones and homemade piccalilli. Of course the piccalilli was made several weeks in advance to allow the flavours to mature but the scones were enjoyed fresh from the oven. Piccalilli in the store doesn’t taste the same as how I remember it as a child, the colours are too bright and the flavours seem too sweet, I prefer the sharp bite of vinegar and the heat from mustard seeds, peppercorns and chili peppers. Moving into summer I love to have lots of pickles and condiments as part of ‘snacking platter’ which are easy to throw together when guests pop in so this year I have decided to start making my own. Since I have not made it before I was a little conservative on the quantities and only made four small jar and already we are down to two so I may have to get another batch on soon.
I turned to traditional English recipes for the BBC, taking ideas from a few and modified them a little to suit my taste. I really only wanted cauliflower and gherkins in mine but you gan use a range of vegetables as done here and here.
Ingredients – makes 8 scones
200g self raising flour
pinch of salt
4 rashers of streaky bacon, thinly sliced
100g grated cheddar cheese
150ml of milk
1 tblsp Dijon mustard
Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
Fry bacon till brown.
whisk the mustard into the milk.
Place flour, butter and salt into a bowl.
Rub butter and flour together until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.
Add the grated cheese & bacon and mix through.
Form a well in the centre of bread crumb mix and add the milk kneed gently to form a soft dough.
Transfer dough onto a floured board and press the dough out with hands (rather than using a rolling pin) until it is about 2cm thick.
Either use a round cookie cutter to cut out the scones or slice the scones into squares.
Place on a floured baking sheet and brush tops of scones with a little egg wash.
Bake for 20 minutes until risen and golden brown, they will sound hollow like bread when tapped on the base if cooked through correctly.
Ingredients – Picalilli
For the wet brine
100g salt 1 litre cold water
1 small cauliflower into florets
For the spiced vinegar
300ml pint malt vinegar
1 tbsp mixed pickling spices
1 fresh chilli
For the sauce
25g plain flour
1tbsp grain mustard
1⁄2 tbsp turmeric
1/2 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tsp ground ginger
3 tbsp malt vinegar
To make the wet brine – mix the salt with cold water in a large mixing bowl, allow plenty of space for the vegetables.
To make the vegetables – prepare the vegetables by cutting them into 1⁄2 inch pieces or even smaller. Make sure they are as regular in shape as possible.
Put into the wet brine and leave for 24 hours. Place a plate on top of the vegetables to make sure they are kept well under the liquid.
For the spiced vinegar – put the vinegar and spices into an aluminium or stainless steel saucepan, bring just to boiling point, lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes; allow to cool. There will be less than 600ml/1 pint of vinegar but this will be correct for the sauce.
For the sauce – blend the flour, mustard powder, turmeric and ginger in a good sized basin, add the three tablespoons vinegar, stir to make a smooth paste. Gradually strain the spiced vinegar over the ingredients, make sure the mixture is smooth.