Dunwich Heath is just up the coast from us, and not a National Trust property we’d visited before. Then again, we haven’t done nearly as many outings over the last couple of years as I like to. Can’t think why. With the sudden weather change I couldn’t resist a day out, although with hindsight I should have insisted on slightly heavier outerwear for the older members of the group. The sun was warm, but the site is on a clifftop, with the winds you’d anticipate.
The cafe usually serves a variety of cakes as well as soups and sandwiches. On Saturday they had 19 different scones on display, including a couple of gluten free recipes. There were sweet and savoury, with pots of cream and jam or chutney or cream. We tried a selection, including my personal favourite, Stilton and Ale.
I didn’t even get to try the malteser one I split between the two youngest – they devoured it. Big enjoyed a cheese and chive one, and we all shared the nutella and pistachio, which grew on me. (Was a funny colour for a scone though!)
I got to have a brief chat with Rob, who is the catering manager and the brains behind the sconeathon. I get the impression scones are big in his life There’s a scone club, and he does a scone of the day, alongside the other offerings, but this was a special event to try out some new flavours and see which ones to add to his regular repertoire. I did suggest he got on instagram, as I suggest scone of the day would play *very* well there. Lack of internet signal did make sharing our pictures immediately rather difficult.
Once we’d enjoyed our scones, we went outside to the little play area. The smaller children played as if it was midsummer, and Big mainly shivered.
The site is based around coastguard cottages and a lookout where people watched for smugglers according to the varioius signs. I wanted to look at the children’s nature trails and so on, but I think we’ll have to go another time for that – I couldn’t get small people out of the play area to do anything else.
We did go inside to the lookout area and use the telescope and binoculars for a while. That room also doubles as an overspill for the cafe, so you can take your cakes or scones and cuppas up there if you’d like a break from the wind. I was surprised by the number of people enjoying their snacks outside, but maybe if I’d had a thicker coat I’d have felt better about it.
Once home, we enjoyed the goodie bag Rob thoughtfully supplied of four extra scones.
Clockwise from top left, those are bacon and maple, banana and maple, apple and cinnamon and raspberry and white chocolate. Difficult to choose a favourite from those, although I think it would probably end up being bacon and maple if I took a poll. I was surprised that the raspberry and white choc wasn’t more popular, but maybe it paled beside maltesers
And then this week I’ve kept on thinking about Stilton and Ale scones. So I decided to have a go at making my own version. Handily I had some stilton in the fridge, so I only needed to pick up some ale. Such a hardship.
My recipe as follows.
450g self raising flour. (Not flower, as I originally typed.)
8fl oz ale of choice (green king IPA for me).
2fl oz milk.
Flour in a bowl, cube the butter into it, add salt. Rub together until it makes breadcrumby type mixture. Grate or finely chop the stilton and mix through the flour mixture. Add ale and milk, stir in until it makes a dough. You may want to go steady with the beer – I ended up adding a bit of extra flour as it seemed quite a sticky mixture.
Knead a little until thoroughly mixed, then roll out to about 2 cm thick, and cut out. I ended up with 19 scones from this mixture. Brush tops with a little milk if you wish.
Bake in pre heated oven at 220 Centigrade (probably lower for a fan oven, I don’t have one, so can’t say.) Take approx 12- 15 minutes to bake.
Allow to cool a little, devour with butter and a little home made chutney.
Not bad eh?
Linking up to Country kids and recipe of the week
Disclosure – we were invited to Dunwich Heath and supplied with free scones. They were a bit fabulous, and I’m going to talk about them lots.