My recipe is handed down (Friends of the Earth Cookbook, 1972) and is very much of its period in that it adds extra fibre and ‘tweediness’ (for those who don’t get it, tweedy food is the culinary equivalent of Harris Tweed, hearty, rustic and substantial) with wholemeal flour, oats and then chopped nuts sprinkled on top. Yesterday we needed comfort food and after some discussion we hit on making a tinned peach crumble. It’s one of our favourites; eaten hot with good Cornish clotted cream ice cream you feel super naughty as it’s not low-calorie or low-fat or low in anything and so it tastes wonderful. If you try it at home drain off most but not all of the juice/syrup otherwise the crumble topping goes soft.
And today, seeing we are still feeling in the mood for British cooking, we’ve been eating home-made carrot and parsnip soup with cheese scones.
Uncle Theo’s Cheese Scones
1lb/450g wholemeal flour
½ teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoon of baking powder
½ pint milk/250ml of milk (you will need slightly more because of the wholemeal flour).
2oz/55g of finely grated mature Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon of English mustard (my recipe says half teaspoon of mustard powder so if it’s still 1955 where you live this will do just fine).
Preheat the oven to 425 F/220 C/Gas mark 7
Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the grated cheese and mustard powder.
Make a well in the centre of the mixture and pour in the milk, stir using a round bladed knife until you have a soft dough (very carefully add a little more than the ½ pint – too much and you will get a sticky mixture).
Turn the mixture on to a floured board and lightly flatten the dough until it’s about ½ inch thick. Don’t punch the mixture around otherwise you get heavy scones (oh the embarrassment!) the dough needs handling with a light touch.
Use a 2 ½ inch/6cm circular pastry cutter and cut out the scones and put them on an oiled baking tray.
Glaze with a little milk and pop in the oven for around 12 minutes. They should have risen and be golden brown on the top.
Cool on a wire rack
Eat with butter and homemade soup preferably served in Cornish ware bowls on a nice gingham table-cloth in a farmhouse kitchen overlooking beautiful countryside!
The illustration is by Eric Thomas for Formica from Architectural Review July 1958 and we love it.