Excerpted from The Violet Bakery Cookbook by Claire Ptak. Copyright © 2015 by Claire Ptak. Photographs copyright © 2015 by Kristin Perers. Published in the United States by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
Violet Bakery's ham, cheese and leek sconesBy Chatelaine
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12 large scones
I love leeks. I love garlic. I love onions. All alliums are sacred to me because they create so much beautiful flavour when used properly. Sure, they are capable of leaving you with a bit of smelly breath, but isn’t it worth it? Besides, if you’re eating them with your partner or a friend, neither of you will really notice. Leeks are my favourite, especially when slowly cooked down into a silky creamy consistency so they become sweet and nuanced.
- 2 leeks
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter , (25 g)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp flaky sea salt , (such as Maldon)
- pinch of ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup parmesan , grated (200 g)
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour , plus more for the work surface, (450g)
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 7 tbsp cold, unsalted butter , cut into cubes (100 g)
- 2 cups plain yogurt , (500 g)
- 7 ounces ham , such as Parma, Serrano, Bayonne or country, cut into bite-size pieces (200 g)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 egg , lightly beaten with a little milk or water, for the egg wash
- TRIM the roots and the tough green stalks and outer layer from the leeks. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and run under cool water to rinse, peeling back the layers to get inside where the grit is lodged. Slice the leeks crosswise into 4-mm (1⁄2-in.) slices and drop into a bowl of cold water for about 10 minutes. All the dirt will fall to the bottom. Scoop the leeks out (rather than pouring them out with the water) and place in a colander to drain. Pat dry.
- IN a heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium-low heat, heat the 25g (2 tablespoons) of butter and the oil until the butter starts to foam. Add the leeks, flaky sea salt, and black pepper and sauté for about 10 to 15 minutes until soft but without colour. When they are cooked, tip them into a bowl and chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes (this can be done the day before).
- LINE a baking sheet (or other container that can fit into your fridge) with parchment paper.
- IN a medium bowl, stir together the parmesan, flour, and baking powder. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or the back of a fork (or use a mixer) until crumbly. Add the yogurt, ham, kosher salt, and cooled leeks. Mix quickly to combine and then pat into a cube and place on a lightly floured surface. Pat the dough into a thick log and cut out triangles from the log — you will have about 12. Place the scones on the lined baking sheet (or other container) and put in the fridge to chill until set, about 1 hour.
- PREHEAT the oven to 180°C/355°F (160°C/320°F convection). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, place the chilled scones on it, and brush the scones with the egg wash.
- BAKE for 25 to 30 minutes until golden. Serve right away. You can also make the scones and freeze them, then bake as and when you need them. They keep well for a month in the freezer.