From Nigella Lawson’s How to Be a Domestic Goddess. This is one of the very few savory dishes in her cookbook, but it is one of my favorite recipes in the book. It has a very comforting, homely, deliciously caramelized warmth to it that goes with anything, especially meat.
For you non-pastry cooks, don’t let the cheese scone worry you. It’s quick and hassle free. About as much hassle as mixing up pancake batter.
For the filling/topping:
4 medium red onions
1 tbsp olive oil
1 heaping tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste
3-4 springs of thyme, destalked, or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 c plus 2 tbsp (5 oz) sharp Cheddar or Gruyere, grated (I used mostly Cheddar with some fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano to brighten it up a little more)
For the scone dough:
1 2/3 c all-purpose flour
1 scant tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
scant 1/2 c milk
3 tbsp butter, melted
1 scant tsp dry English mustard (my note: if none, I use high quality dijon style mustard)
1 large egg, beaten
You will need an 8-10″ cast iron skillet or pie plate, buttered
Preheat oven to 400F. Peel onions, halve them, then cut each half into 4 segments each. Heat the oil and butter in the pan, then add the onions and cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, for about 30 minutes; they should be soft and tinged with color (note: if I’m feeling impatient, I’ll take them out at 30, but I prefer to further caramelize them for another 10 minutes if possible). Season with salt and pepper, and add thyme. Turn into a pie dish and scatter 2 oz of the cheese over the waiting onions. Leave while you get on with the dough topping.
Put the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl with the remaining cheese. Pour the milk into a measuring cup, add the melted butter, mustard, and egg, mix well and then pour onto the flour mixture in the bowl (note: I had some leftover sage and rosemary from the chicken last week, so I sliced that up and threw it in, too). Mix to a dough using a fork, wooden spoon, or your hands; it should be quite sticky (note: if it seems dry, you may have used too much cheese or flour – add a splash of milk at a time until the consistency is sticky). Tip it out onto a work surface and press into a circle about the size of the pie dish. Transfer it to the dish, pressing it to seal the edges.
Put it in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn down to 350F and give it another 10 minutes, by which time the dough should be golden and crisp on top. Let it stand a couple of minutes, then cover with a large plate and turn upside down so the plate’s beneath and the pie dish on top. Place on a flat surface and remove the dish.
Makes 6 generous slices.
I served this with some basil chicken sausage and a small salad with Lucini’s Cherry and Rosemary Balsamic Vinaigrette. If you’ve never tried that dressing and you like balsamics, hunt it down! Delicious.
Not a great picture. Sorry!