Cheese Scones with Ricotta & Balsamic Tomatoes

Cooking time
Serves4-8 people
Cheese Scones with Ricotta & Balsamic Tomatoes

Cheese scones are a savoury teatime treat. These fluffy scones are made with plenty of mature cheddar then topped with a herby ricotta spread for double the cheese. A bowl of tangy balsamic-marinated tomatoes are the perfect final touch.


  • 275ml whole milk, plus extra for glazing
  • 1 medium egg
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • 450g self raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 225g mature cheddar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • A pinch of smoked paprika (optional)
  • 250g ricotta
  • A handful of chives
  • 250g baby plum tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Prep: 20 mins | Cook: 20 mins

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1. Heat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Dust a large baking tray with a little flour. Measure out the milk and add a squeeze of lemon juice. Give it a stir and set aside for 5 mins. It should start to look a little lumpy and curdled – this is what you want. Crack the egg into a small bowl and beat it to break it up. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and a pinch of sea salt into a large bowl. Coarsely grate the cheddar and stir most of it into the flour, keeping back a few pinches of the cheese.
3. Pour the curdled milk into the flour and add the beaten egg. Use your hands to stir the dry and liuqid ingredients together to make a smooth, slightly sticky dough.
4. Dust your work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Gently knead it to bring it together and then pat it into flat round, roughly 3cm high. Stamp out scones with a 7cm cutter and put them on the baking tray. Bring the dough trimmings together and pat them back into a round 3cm high. Stamp out more scones and put them on the tray. Repeat till you have used all the dough – remember, the faster you work and the less you handle the dough, the lighter your scones will be when they are baked.
5. Brush the tops of the scones with a little milk. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and a pinch of smoked paprika, if you’re using it. Bake them for 15-20 mins, till they are risen, golden and feel light when you pick them up. Cool them on a wire rack for 5-10 mins.
6. While the scones are baking, tip the ricotta into a small bowl. Finely chop the chives. Add them to the ricotta with a little salt and pepper. Stir to mix. Halve the tomatoes. Pop them in a bowl with the balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to mix.
7. Serve the warm scones with the herby ricotta and the balsamic tomatoes. These scones are best eaten on the day they're made, although they can be frozen for up to 3 months.
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