Ploughman’s scones

These savoury cheese scones, filled with thin slices of apple and chutney, make a delicious addition to an afternoon tea spread


  • juice 0.5 lemon
  • 1 small eating apple (a Braeburn is nice)
  • 12 tsp of your favourite chutney or pickle (we used apple, tomato & chilli chutney)
  • punnet of cress, snipped
  • 225g self-raising flour, plus a little for dusting
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50g butter, cut into tiny pieces
  • 85g extra mature cheddar, finely grated
  • 6 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
  • 150ml milk, plus 1 tbsp
  • 1 egg yolk


    1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and dust a baking tray with a little flour. Tip the flour into a large bowl with the baking powder and a good pinch of salt. Add the butter and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles damp breadcrumbs. Add the cheese and thyme leaves, mix in, then pour in the milk. Use a cutlery knife to bring the mixture together as a soft dough – don’t overwork it or the scones will be heavy.
    2. Tip onto your work surface, mopping up any dry crumbs with the dough. Pat into a disc about 1.5cm thick. Using a 5cm fluted cookie cutter, stamp out 12 scones (you may have to squash the scraps back together to get all 12). Place on the baking tray. Mix the remaining 1 tbsp milk with the egg yolk and brush over the top of the scones. Bake for 10-12 mins until well-risen and golden brown, then leave to cool a little on a wire rack.
    3. Just before serving, put the lemon juice in a bowl, cut the apple in half, remove the core, then very thinly slice into half moons. Toss the apple through the lemon juice as you go. Split the scones in half and fill each one with a couple of slices of apple, 1 tsp of chutney and a few sprigs of cress.