Cracked Black Pepper and Ham Scones are easy to make and perfect for a brunch or an afternoon party. These scones are savory, soft and delicious.
Scones are my latest guilty pleasure. When I think of scones I think of an afternoon tea, or a Saturday breakfast/brunch.
They are different enough from the standard morning muffin or bowl of cereals to feel like a special treat yet retain an old-fashioned, homey comfort that I love.
For the ones who had scones in the past and did not like them because they were dry and tasteless, I am sorry. Scones are in fact delicious when you make them right.
To make scones is pretty easy
One of the secrets for a successful scone is to start with cold ingredients. The butter has to be really cold, in particular, even frozen(exactly the same way if you would make a pie crust).
The cold butter is usually worked into the dry ingredients, and creates crumbs. When the little butter/flour crumbs melt as the scones bake, they release steam and create little pockets of air.
These pockets create a flaky and airy center, while keeping the edges crumbly and crisp. It guarantees a successful scone.
Another step for a good scone is to add the wet ingredients all at once and mix the dough just to incorporate the liquid. Like pie crust, overworking the dough will build up the gluten in the flour. This results in a tough and not-so-pleasant texture.
One of my favorite ways to finish the scones is to brush them with heavy cream or buttermilk. This layer of liquid sets on top of the scones and drizzles down the sides when they’re in the hot oven, creating an even crispier scone exterior.
Scones can be shaped in many forms
- Make them round by using a biscuit cutter
- Roll the dough and cut it in squares.(see a recipe of Apricot And Sour Cream Scones)
- Make drop scones by scooping the scone dough out and dropping onto a baking sheet
- Shape the dough into a disc and cut it into wedges.
Today we are going to make these Cracked Black Pepper and Ham Scones. Simple and easy to make in no time, this is a great way to use any leftover ham that didn’t make it into a sandwich or soup after a family meal or even holidays.
These scones with ham and black pepper are incredibly moist because of the heavy cream.
How To Make Cracked Black Pepper And Ham Scones
I started by mixing together the flour and cracked black pepper in a bowl. To that, I added the very cold butter, cut in small pieces.
I worked the butter into the flour with a pastry blender until it looked like bread crumbs.(this step can also be done in a food processor).
I added the diced ham and the cold heavy cream. If the dough seems a little bit dry add more cream, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Form a dough with your hands and turn it out on a floured surface.Using a rolling pin, roll dough and cut 25 scones.
You can make them round, by using a biscuit cutter, in squares or any other shape you like. I, once, used a heart shaped cookie cutter. Reroll scraps as necessary.
Place scones 2 inches apart on the prepared baking tray. Brush some heavy cream on top of each scone and bake for 7-8 minutes until golden brown.
- 2 cups self rising flour
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cooked ham
- 1 cup cold heavy cream plus 1-2 tablespoons in case the dough is too dry
- 1 tablespoon cold heavy cream for brushing the scones
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl combine flour and pepper whisking well.
- Cut butter into flour mixture using two forks or a pastry blender until mixture looks like bread crumbs.(You can also use a food processor. Place flour, cracked pepper and butter inside and pulse few times until the mixture resembles bread crumbs).
- Add ham, stirring until incorporated.
- Add 1 cup heavy cream stirring until mixture comes together. (If dough seems dry, add more cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is moist).
- Bring mixture together with hands until dough forms.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently 3-4 times. Using a rolling pin, roll dough to an inch thickness. Cut 25 scones from dough, using a round cutter. Reroll scraps as necessary.
- Place scones 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet.
- Brush tops of scones lightly with remaining 1 tablespoon cream.
- Bake for 8 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Test the centers with a wooden toothpick. It should come out clean.
- If you use already ground black pepper, reduce amount of pepper to 1/2 teaspoon.
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