Cheddar & Sage Scones

Scones. I remember my mum making them when I was a child - plain, fruit and cheese ones. They one of the first foods we learnt to make as a children. Quick to make, quick to cook and with ingredients so few and basic you'll nearly always have them in the cupboard. If you don't you almost certainly need to go shopping and regain control of your life.

Cheddar & Sage Scones

Makes 10

250g self-raising flour
1 tsp mustard powder
pinch of cayenne pepper, plus extra for dusting
1/2 tsp salt
50g butter
125g strong cheddar cheese, grated
small bunch of sage
1 free-range egg. beaten
4 tbsp milk
olive oil
milk to glaze
coarse sea salt

Preheat the oven to 200C / Gas Mark 6.

Sift the flour, mustard, cayenne and salt into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Pick the sage leaves, reserve 10 whole leaves and finely chop the rest. Add the chopped sage to the mixture along with 75g of the cheese, the egg and the milk and mix to a soft dough.

Turn out onto a floured surface. Knead lightly and roll out to a 2cm thickness. Cut into 5cm rounds with a plain cutter and place on a floured baking sheet. Brush with milk and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Brush the reserved sage leaves with a little oil and place one on top of each scone and dust with a light sprinkle of cayenne and a sprinkle of sea salt.

Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Split and serve buttered.