Whether it’s breakfast or tea time, these Cheddar and Sage Scones belong on your table. Full of savory flavors from the earthy sage and sharp cheddar cheese, you’ll love the flaky layers.
Oh hello old friend. Please, come in. I’ve got buttery scones, full of herby sage and melty cheddar cheese, fresh out of the oven, perfect to pair with a cup of tea while we have a nice chat.
This recipe is one of those magical ones, the ones that work on the first try. I’ve never made scones before. I’ve never even eaten a scone before! And yet, somehow, it all came together in perfect harmony. The recipe has been hanging out in my little black book for some time now. Finally the day came when I was ready to make it and BOY AM I GLAD I DID. Trust me, it’s worth the all caps.
My various attempts at pie and pie crust cookies taught me how to cut butter into flour. You want to work quickly but you don’t want to overdo it. Otherwise your hands will get hot and start to melt the butter and then you can wave buh-bye to all the flaky layers that could have been. Would have been. That most certainly should have been. What I’m trying to say is…
I’m basically an expert butter smusher now.
It’s one thing to know how to cream butter and sugar together for the most epic cookies and cakes. But it’s quite another to make flaky pastries. One day the sweets train I’d been riding got derailed and I got a hankering for something savory. Thoughts of melted cheese replaced daydreams of gooey chocolate puddles. I let the matter sit for a while, to see whether or not it would pass.
Two weeks later, here we are. Slicing our scone dough, sprinkling extra cheddar on top, dusted in flour. It’s a happy way to be.
Despite my apprehensions (remember, I was a scone virgin until a few days ago), these are a must-have. The dough comes together in a flash. Since you don’t want to overwork it, there’s no serious kneading to do. In fact, it’s not so much kneading as nudging the dough. Simply wrap and chill the scone dough to ensure all of those smushed butter bits are cold going into the oven.
I like to sit and watch through the oven door as the scones bake. As the butter melts, the layers puff up and the cheese turns gooey. Keep watching and you’ll see the edges turn golden-brown. That crispy exterior envelopes the soft, cheesy layers of dough within. The teeniest bit of brown sugar helps bring out the cheddar’s sharp flavor. Fresh sage leaves lend an earthy note that make you think of farming and living off the land. Of course, there’s a bonus. You’ll feel like a true, proper English person eating scones at tea time.
If you make these Cheddar and Sage Scones (which you should), then let me know. Drop a comment, tag me @lensesandlentils on Instagram, rate the recipe, save it on Pinterest. Whatever you do, keep baking!
- 2 cups flour, spooned and leveled
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- ¾ tsp fine sea salt
- ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 egg
- ½ cup whole milk, plus more for brushing
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 1½ tbsp minced fresh sage
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Toss in the butter cubes with your hands. Smush the pieces between your fingers until they are about the size of walnut halves. If at any point the butter gets too soft or warm, throw the bowl into the fridge.
- Next, mix in the sage and cheddar cheese. Make a well in the center of the flour butter mixture and pour in the milk and egg. Using a spoon, mix everything together. Make sure to fold up from the bottom of the bowl so that everything gets incorporated evenly. Transfer the scone dough onto a floured surface and lightly knead it a few times until it holds together. Your dough should not feel dry.
- Shape it into a large ½-inch thick disc. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Heat the oven to 400ºF. Unwrap the scone dough and place on a lined baking sheet. Carefully slice into 8 wedges, separating each scone a little bit. Brush the tops and sides with milk. Bake on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden and crispy but there is still a little give when you push down lightly.
- Best served warm. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.