Black Pepper and Ham Scones are easy to make and perfect for brunch or an afternoon party. These scones are savory, soft, and delicious.
Why Do I Like This Recipe
Scones are my latest guilty pleasure. When I think of scones, I think of 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.
I am sorry for those who had scones in the past and did not like them because they were dry and tasteless. Scones are, in fact, delicious when you make them right.
Making scones is pretty easy
One of the secrets to a successful scone is to start with cold ingredients. The butter must be very cold (the same way 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 form 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 adding the wet ingredients all at once and mixing the dough 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 cookie/biscuit cutter.
- Roll the dough and cut it into squares. (see a recipe for Apricot And Sour Cream Scones).
- Make drop scones by scooping the scone dough out and dropping it onto a baking sheet.
- Shape the dough into a disc and cut it into wedges.
Today we are going to make these 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 on holidays.
The heavy cream makes these scones with ham and black pepper incredibly moist.
How To Make
I started by mixing the flour and cracked black pepper in a bowl. To that, I added the very cold butter and cut it into 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, one tablespoon at a time.
Form a dough with your hands and turn it on a floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll dough and cut 25 scones. Reroll scraps as necessary.
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.
Place scones 2 inches apart on the prepared baking tray. Brush heavy cream on top of each scone and bake for 7-8 minutes until golden brown.
Alright, you've baked these savory ham scones to perfection, and now it's time to treat them with the respect they deserve.
Don't let your hard work go to waste! Follow these storage instructions, and keep those scones tasting fresh.
First things first, let those scones cool completely on a wire rack. Don't rush this part; patience is key.
If you plan to enjoy them within a day or two, simply place the scones in an airtight container and store them at room temperature. No fuss, no mess.
Want to savor them later? You're in luck! Wrap each scone individually in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe bag or container. Label with the date so you remember when you were in The Bossy Kitchen, crafting these beauties.
Ready for a scone? If frozen, let them thaw in the fridge overnight, then warm in a preheated oven at 350F for about 10 minutes. Watch them closely, though! We want warm, not overbaked.
Sure, but choose wisely! You can replace the ham with cooked bacon or even sausage but don't stray too far from the flavor profile. These scones demand a smoky, savory touch.
No self-rising flour in the pantry? No problem. You will need to make your own. For each cup of all-purpose flour, add 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Mix well, and you are back in business.
Cold cream is a must, not a suggestion. It keeps the butter from melting into the dough, which means flakier scones. Trust me, I know what I am talking about. Keep that cream chilled!
Planning ahead? Great move! You can freeze the unbaked scones on a baking sheet, then transfer them to a freezer bag.
When you are ready to bake, there is no need to thaw; just add a couple of extra minutes to the baking time. However, keep an eye on them; perfection waits for no one!
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Black Pepper And Ham Scones
- 2 cups self rising flour
- 1 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- 4 tablespoons cold butter cut into pieces
- ½ 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 ½ teaspoon.