Saint Patrick’s Day feasts often feature the classic boiled dinner of corned beef and cabbage or a rich beef stew made with Guinness stout beer. This year, on the day that celebrates shillelaghs and shenanigans, expand your spread to include these buttery and flaky scones that are brimming with two classic Celtic ingredients – Irish bacon and aged cheddar cheese. Sláinte!
Irish Cheddar and Bacon Scones
1 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil
7 to 8 ounces Irish back bacon (Canadian bacon is a good substitute), cut into brunoise dice
4 ounces salted butter, cut into small dice
4 ounces white Irish cheddar, shredded
1 cup heavy cream, divided
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon caraway seeds
3½ cups flour, plus more for dusting the counter
5 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a small saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat; saute the diced Irish back bacon until browned and crisp. Transfer the browned cubes to a small bowl or plate and refrigerate until cold.
Place the diced butter and shredded Irish cheddar in a bowl or on a plate and refrigerate until very cold.
In a medium bowl or measuring cup, whisk together ¾ cup heavy cream, whole milk, egg, sugar, and caraway seeds; refrigerate until ready to use.
In a large bowl, stir together 3½ cups flour, baking powder, kosher salt, and cayenne pepper. Add the diced bacon, butter and shredded cheddar to the flour mixture. Gather some of the mixture and rub it between your hands; repeat this process until the butter is pea sized and the cheese is well integrated.
Pour the cold wet ingredients into the dry then use an open hand to fold everything together and the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead lightly until the dough has a smooth surface. Pat the dough down until it is approximately 1-inch-thick. Use a 3-inch scone or biscuit cutter to cut 12 scones, gathering the scraps together as needed until all dough is used. Turn the scones over and place them on a sheet pan. Brush the tops with the remaining heavy cream then bake for 30 to 32 minutes, turning the pan halfway through the bake time.
Article originally published in the Boston Herald on March 7, 2018.