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Halloumi & Mint Scones

Sometimes I miss England. So I thought I decided to combine a little Cyprus flavour with an English tradition. The end result: Halloumopitas meet English scones. Essentially, these are a savoury version of an English scone. The combination makes a wonderful breakfast, light lunch or snack food. The scones are particularly yummy when they first come out of the oven: warm and fluffy on the inside, and flaky on the outside. They are great on their own, or even with a little quince jam.

Level of Difficulty: 3/5
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time:  20 to 25 minutes
Makes about 6 to 8 scones
ingredients
2 cups of all purpose flour
3 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 a cup of cold butter
2/3 of buttermilk (if you do not have buttermilk,combine 1/2 a cup of milk with 1/4 cup unstrained plain yogurt)
1 large egg slightly beaten
1 cup of cubed halloumi
3 tablespoons of chopped fresh mint
recipe
1. Preheat the oven to 205 C.

2. Prepare your ingredients, chopping your mint and your halloumi into cubes like this:

Cubed Halloumi

3. In a large bowl combine flour and baking powder. Add the cold butter and rub the flour and butter between your fingers. Add the cubed halloumi and chopped mint.

4. Break an egg into a small bowl and beat it slightly so the mixture is yellow throughout.

5. I could not find buttermilk in Cyprus so I made a substitute. Buttermilk is traditionally the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cream. It is a bit thicker than milk and has more acid in it and is a little more sour in taste than milk. It is important in cooking because the acidity of the buttermilk combines with the baking soda so that it whatever you are cooking will actually rise and lighten more. My attempt to find buttermilk was not successful this time,  but fortunately this is one ingredient where you can make your own decent substitute. All you do is mix 1/2 cup of milk with 1/4 cup of unstrained (the unstrained part is important!) plain yogurt.

6. Mix together the buttermilk and egg and then add this slowly to the flour mixture. With a fork stir the mixture and then, with your hands, form about 6 to 8 scones.
Scones on a Baking Sheet
7. Place them on a baking pan lined with parchment paper and bake in a preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the scones slightly brown on the outside like this:
Scone Mountain Range
Cook, share and enjoy!

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