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”, published by Whitecap Books in 2021, is now available for purchase. Christina Loucas shares over 80 recipes that showcase the very best of Cypriot cooking.

Cyprus Cuisine