I have mentioned before how my family are not big potato eaters, favouring rice or pasta based meals. However, there is a kitchen stampede whenever there are home-cooked roast potatoes on offer. My children also like to eat mashed potatoes but exert rigorous quality control and will reject without mercy any mash that contains lumps or is gluey in texture. Luckily I have a potato ricer – an invaluable piece of kitchen equipment, which ensures lump-free, silky mashed spuds!
I like to use a floury potato like a King Edward or a Rooster to make mashed potatoes and thereafter these scones when I have leftovers. Feel free to use whatever potato variety you prefer, the only caveat being to steer away from waxy or new potatoes as they will make your finished scones quite heavy.
The finished scones are surprising light to eat and this is in part achieved by using a floury potato, but also by handling the mixed dough as little as possible once you have mixed it up.
If you don’t have leftover mashed potato, you can of course cook some potatoes specifically for use in these scones. Rather that peeling and boiling the potatoes, I bake them and then scoop out the hot flesh and pass it through a potatoes ricer (you don’t need to add milk or butter – but rather use the potatoes as they are).
I have kept these scones simple; merely flavouring them with a little sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, but you can experiment and add fresh herbs or spices. I particularly like the inclusion of chopped chives or thyme and sometimes a pinch of ground cayenne pepper adds a certain piquancy, whilst the addition of caraway seeds creates an unusual scone that is perfect to eat with smoked salmon.
One final recommendation – if you are a butter lover as I am, you must have one of these scones as they emerge piping hot fresh from the oven, split and spread generously with butter… absolute heaven!!!
Ingredients:225g self-raising flour
A pinch of sea salt and a little freshly ground black pepper
50g butter, softened
175g mashed potato
1 egg, lightly beaten
25 - 50ml milk
Method:1. Preheat oven to 200C/Fan Oven 180C/Gas Mark 6. Lightly flour a baking tray and set aside.
2. Sieve the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and add some freshly ground black pepper. Rub in the butter so that the mixture resembles breadcrumbs and there are no large lumps of butter remaining. (If you want to add other ingredients, by way of freshly chopped herbs or any spice, do it at this stage and mix through).
3. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the egg and enough milk to make a make a soft dough when everything is mixed together. (You may not need all the milk so add it gradually).
4. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured work-surface, knead briefly and flatten with your hands until it is about 3cms thick. Cut out rounds from the dough using a 6-7cm round cookie cutter and place on the prepared baking tray. Gather up the off cuts and use to cut out some more scones.
5. Brush the top of the scones with a little milk and sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on top of each. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-17 minutes until well risen and golden brown.
Makes 6-8 scones.