Cracked Black Pepper and Ham Scones are easy to make and perfect for brunch or an afternoon party. These scones are savory, soft, and delicious.
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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 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 on holidays.
I love using leftover ham to make various dishes, like quiche or breakfast egg casserole.
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.
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Cracked Black Pepper And Ham Scones
- 2 cups self rising flour
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 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.