Halloumi-Mint Scones

about 20 minutes
about 12- 15 minutes
Makes about 20 little scones

3 cups flour
1 tbs sugar
½ tsp salt
2 & ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp ground pepper
½ tsp baking soda
170 g cold unsalted butter, chopped into small cubes
1 egg beaten
¾ cup cold Greek yogurt or sour cream
3 tbs cold water
1/3 cup chopped mint
¾ cup finely grated halloumi
sea salt, ground pepper & paprika for sprinkling on top

1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Line 1 large baking sheet with baking paper.

2. Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, ground pepper, baking soda in a large bowl and stir together with a fork to ensure it is combined.

3. Quickly mix the cold butter cubes into the flour mixture with your hands – it will look very crumbly.

4. In another small bowl, combine the egg, cold sour cream and cold water. Mix together with a fork until it just comes together.

5. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture all at once. Mix the flour mixture with your hands a few times. Then add the halloumi and mint. Mix together in the bowl until a soft dough forms and turn it onto a flat surface.

6. Pat the dough out so that it is 1 inch thick. Then cut pieces approximately 1 inch by 2 inch and place onto the baking sheet.

7. Sprinkle generously with paprika, and a little salt and pepper.

8. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until slightly golden brown on top

I’ve made these scones a couple of times  last year. Once for a magazine feature in Taste magazine, and another time for my friend’s kid’s birthday party. They are so easy to make for get togethers. They make for a good brunch or tea snack. I have played around with the recipe a little bit. In Cyprus I have yet to find buttermilk. I have tried a lot of the “substitutes”, but they never seem to do the trick. So I have sorted of given up and just resorted to plain ‘ol substitutions – using Greek yogurt or sour cream where appropriate.

Most of the times it is just fine – the recipes come out a little denser, but they are still tasty. This recipe is one of those recipes I am not shy to experiment with. I usually make them with sour cream, but had run out, so just added Greek yogurt instead. The result was still the same. The are delicious on their own, but I happened to have some “mosphila” jam – hawthorn jelly or azarole jam – and decided to smother it with the same.The combination of salty halloumi, smokey paprika sprinkled generously on top of the scones and caramel-like sweetness of the jam made for a really wonderful snack.

This weekend I am celebrating my fiance’s birthday so will be making a cake. I am thinking of a Greek coffee cake with malt frosting, and perhaps a praline crunch in the center of it, so hopefully I will be able to share that with you next week too. Enjoy – this recipe is easy and really good to make for parties and get-togethers. They are best eaten the day-of or the next day.

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Cyprus Cuisine

“Cyprus Cuisine” is scheduled for release by Whitecap Books in 2o21. Christina Loucas shares over 75 recipes that showcase the very best of Cypriot cooking.

Cyprus Cuisine