The idea for these scones came from a request for a kid-friendly recipe that was easy to prepare and could serve as an after-school snack.
These flavourful cakes go well with soup, can be split up and made into a sandwich, or are great just on their own. They’re a wonderful lunchbox addition.
The recipe is a heavily tweaked version of Farmgirl’s Savory Cheese and Scallion Scones.
It calls for 5 tsps. of baking powder. This makes for a fluffy, flaky scone, but has a very high sodium content.
We attempt a healthier, low-sodium version. We replaced the all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour. The salt has been replaced with Mrs. Dash salt-free lemon pepper seasoning. The feta and cream cheeses have been replaced with farmer’s cheese, which is low-fat soft cottage cheese without any salt or additives.
Any veggies or herbs can be used for this recipe – steamed broccoli, leeks, roasted fennel, fenugreek (methi) leaves, coriander leaves, roasted red peppers, cooked tomatoes, sundried tomatoes.
The key to light, tender scones lies in minimal handling of the dough. Try and use a fork to mix ingredients, and mix them until just combined.
Spinach and Spring Onion Scones
(Makes 8 large scones)
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all purpose flour
5 tsps baking powder
1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash salt-free lemon pepper seasoniong or salt
8 ounces farmer’s cheese /soft paneer
**If sodium is not an issue, you can stick with feta/goat’s cheese, cottage cheese or cream cheese.
Indian alternatives: soft paneer drained for 30 minutes and still moist, or thick yogurt hung in a cheese cloth and drained for 4 hours.
2 spring onions (scallions), green & white parts, chopped
2 cups fresh spinach, or 3 ounces frozen
1 clove finely chopped garlic
1/4 tsp cayenne (chilli) powder
1/4 tsp. ajwain (bishop’s weed) or cumin seeds
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup milk (we used 1%)
2 egg whites (or 1 whole egg)
10 black olives, chopped (optional)
1 tsp. lemon juice
Optional Egg glaze:
1 egg (we used whites) and 2 Tbsp. milk
1. If using frozen spinach, thaw it in the microwave for 30 seconds. If using fresh, wash it well, drain and microwave the wet spinach covered for 2 minutes. Let it cool, squeeze it dry, and chop.
2. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
3. Grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment or a silicone liner.
4. Combine 2-1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Reserve the remaining flour.
5. Add cheese & toss gently with a fork until combined.
6. Add spinach, spring onions and olives, and toss gently with a fork until combined.
7. Beat the milk and egg, add it to the rest of the ingredients, along with the lemon juice and spices.
8. Mix lightly until a soft dough forms. Add the remaining flour if required. We are looking for a dough that is moist, but not sticky.
9. Flour the surface well and place the dough on it. Flatten it lightly with a rolling pin or with the palm of your hand until you have a circle that is an inch thick.
10. Cut it like a pizza, first through the middle, then into quarters, and then into eight wedges. Use a very sharp knife (preferably serrated) for this. Clean cuts enable the scones to rise better.
11. Place the wedges on the prepared baking sheet.
12. Brush the tops and sides of the scones with the egg/milk glaze.
13. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. Cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes.
Our entry for Meeta’s Monthly Mingle event at What’s for Lunch, Honey?.