One of my best memories of Ireland is of sitting in cozy farmhouses having tea and fragrant, freshly baked scones with an Irish dairy farmer and his (or sometimes her) family. Outside the cows are grazing on the most succulent, luxuriant green grass and there is an air of peace, calm and gracious hospitality within.
I’ve had the good fortune of going to Ireland five or six times on business with Kerrygold, my PR client until 2015, and with whom I still work on a consulting basis occasionally. I’m sure you’ve heard of the brand: highly regarded butter and cheeses from Ireland made with milk from grass-fed cows, raised on small family farms.
Irish scones are quite delicious and moister than their British counterparts. To my mind, they’re a cross between muffins and biscuits.
Recently, I’ve been making them for breakfast, using a recipe from the Kerrygold Cookbook. It seems an appropriate recipe choice for St. Patrick’s Day. These scones also would be delicious as tea sandwiches, filled with smoked salmon and crème fraiche, or with slices of ham or turkey and a slather of Dijon mustard.
Irish Scones with Butter and Jam
2 2/3 cups flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
2 tablespoons Kerrygold butter, chilled and diced
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg, beaten
Kerrygold butter curls and jam, to serve
Heat oven to 425⁰F.
Sift together flour, salt and baking soda into a medium bowl. Stir in sugar. Add butter and using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Make a well in the center; combine buttermilk and egg and pour into the center. Gently and quickly stir the liquid into the flour. The dough should be soft but not sticky; be sure to incorporate all the flour in the bottom of the bowl.
Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface and pat the dough into a circle about 1 inch thick. Cut into triangles with a sharp knife. Or, cut rounds using a 2-inch biscuit cutter; combine scraps, re-roll and cut more rounds into all the dough is used.
Arrange scones on a greased baking sheet and bake about 15 minutes, until well-risen and golden brown. Cool at least 10 minutes on a wire rack and serve with butter curls and jam.
Makes 10 triangular scones or 16 (2-inch) rounds.
- For cheese scones: Add ¼ cup grated Kerrygold Reserve Cheddar or Dubliner cheese in with the buttermilk; when scones are shaped, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with additional ¾ cup grated cheese before baking.
- For fruit scones: Add ½ cup raisins, dried pitted cherries or dried cranberries when adding the sugar.
Note: to make butter curls, run a vegetable peeler over the top of a block of cold butter; keep curls chilled until ready to serve.
Recipe adapted from The Kerrygold Cookbook, first published in Ireland 2013 by Zahra Media Group.
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