The countdown to the start of the Tour de France has begun here in Yorkshire. It sneaks into the local news bulletins on a regular basis, and there are yellow signs popping up along the route the cyclists will take as they spend the first couple of days of the race pedalling through the county.
In honour of Yorkshire’s Grand Depart, I’ve planted a French-inspired collection of herbs in the garden… well no, not really – they were already growing there. But in all the years I’ve had fresh chives, parsley, tarragon and chervil out there to pick, I’ve never put the four together to create that French classic of fines herbes. Turns out this was a big mistake, and I’ve been missing out on a truly great flavour combination. These four herbs were practically made for each other, so what better way to celebrate a visit from the world’s greatest cycle race, than a recipe bringing together a French herb collection with some traditional Yorkshire baking.
I’m not sure if those taking part in Le Tour will have time to stop for tea and scones as they zip through the Yorkshire countryside. But if they do, they might like to try a plate of these savoury scones, made with fines herbes and one of the greatest blue cheeses ever made – Yorkshire blue… and I say that as someone who doesn’t really like blue cheeses. The smell of these scones as they baked was good enough to bring my daughter, who dislikes blue cheese even more than I do, downstairs to see what was cooking. But not quite good enough to get her to try one once she found out the full ingredient list… ah well, one step at a time.
Best eaten fresh from the oven, but if the scones last into a second day they’re are also pretty good toasted and buttered.
At the beginning of the month, when I read that the cheesey theme for April’s Cheese Please! over at Fromage Homage was blue cheese, I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t be joining in. But with these scones coming fresh from the oven as we approach the end of April I’ve changed my mind. And who knows, I might even end up trying some of the other blue cheese recipes in this month’s challenge. Just maybe… one step at a time.
Yorkshire blue & fines herbes scones
(makes about 12 scones)
225g self-raising flour
pinch of sea salt
50g unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1 heaped tbsp finely chopped parsley, tarragon, chervil and chive leaves
45g Yorkshire blue cheese, chopped into small cubes
1 egg, beaten
about 5 tbsp milk
Preheat the oven to 200oC, 400F, gas 6.
Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, add the salt and the butter and rub the fat into the flour until you get a mixture that is the texture of breadcrumbs. Stir in the herbs and cheese – you might need to use your fingers to make sure the creamy cheese is evenly distributed through the flour mix.
Add the egg and 4 tablespoons of milk and bring everything together to make a soft dough. Add more milk if needed to bring all the ingredients together. Roll the dough out on a floured work surface until it’s about 2cm thick. Cut rounds about 5cm/2” in diameter and put each one on a greased baking sheet.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the scones are a nice golden brown colour. Cool on a wire rack until you can no longer resist the smell, then tuck in and enjoy.
This blog post comes with an apology to any French speakers reading it. My school level knowledge of the language didn’t stretch to translating ‘Fine herbes with a touch of Yorkshire’, so I resorted to an online translator for the title of the post… feel free to complain / make corrections as required.
These look and sound delicious! I’m looking forward to trying out this recipe.
Thanks Steve. I hope you enjoy them if you do get around to trying them.
My Kitchen Witch said:
Yeah! Herbs and the Tour de France in Yorkshire! Love the scones.
The race is only here for two days in July… but it’s making a good excuse for some French-themed baking!
Hurray, I am converting you all one by one 😉 These sound delicious – I bet they would go really well with a leek and potato soup too. It’s such a lovely time of year when all the herbs start appearing again. I must remember to plant some tarragon (mine never seems to survive the winter). Thanks for sharing these with Cheese, Please! this month 🙂
Yup, the conversion is progressing nicely… by the end of the year you’ll have me eating Brie (yuck)!
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Yum! I’ve adored freshly baked cheese scones since childhood but have never tried to make them with herbs. I don’t grow chervil in my herb patch, what else can it be used for? I’m now keen to go out and buy a plant for the garden!
A few years ago I bought a packet of French salad mix seeds that had chervil in the mix. Since then I like to add a small amount of chopped chervil to a bowl of salad leaves, but apart from that I haven’t found many other uses – I’m sure there are more. It’s a really easy plant to grow from seed though, and looks pretty in the herb garden.
i love cheese sones. I have all the other herbs but not chervil. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever tried chrvil.I must make a point of looking for it.
It’s quite like tarragon in taste, maybe a bit more delicate… worth looking out for, and an easy one to grow from seed.
Such perfect scones, I can never resist. Savoury are equally as delicious as sweet. I must find some of that Yorkshire blue now!
We can get Yorkshire blue at the supermarket, but I’m not sure whether this is limited to the county where it’s made!
Mmmm, I love blue cheese but my other half doesn’t, so perhaps I can hide some in these scones! As soon as my chervil gets a bit bigger I will have to try this herb combination – I have heard the name so often but never thought about which herbs are actually in it. I may not be able to locate the Yorkshire blue in Bavaria, but I’m sure I’ll find an alternative! Thanks Sarah!
Scones are a good way to ‘hide’ ingredients… I’m pretty sure that if I hadn’t told my daughter there was blue cheese in them, she would have tried one and been none the wiser. You could maybe try dolcelatte as an alternative – not sure the hard core blue cheese fans would approve though!
Yummy, especially warm straight from the oven! Relying on herbs too at the moment while I wait for the veggies to grow.
Is the parsley still going strong?
Southbourne Gardens said:
They look absolutely delicious.
Thank you… they were!
Anne @ Life in Mud Spattered Boots said:
I haven’t made scones with herbs for years and now wondering why not. On the to do list.
In Essex we now have roads with newly laid tarmac – not a pot-hole in sight – though sadly only on the Tour de France route. The rest are still awful.
Oh, we could do with some fresh tarmac here too… there are more potholes than road in places.
Have only ever made the plain scones except for once when I gave pumpkin scones, but I like your ingredient combo. May give it a go.
Hope you like them if you try making them. I’ve never made pumpkin scones, but they sound good.
I know I won’t be able to find your wonderful Yorkshire blue cheese but I can find a French blue to go along with your theme. Your scones look wonderful.
Thanks Karen. There must be similar blue cheeses made all over the place… the Yorkshire blue is a nice mild and creamy cheese, with just a hint of blueness (if that’s a word!)
Chervil is an under-rated herb with such a delicate taste and so versatile.
I frequently make cheese and herb scones, but I’d not considered using a blue cheese, probably because it all gets eaten so rapidly!
I had to hide the Yorkshire blue from my husband to be able to make the scones – it’s one of his favourites and, in his opinion, far too good to be wasted in baking!
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Fromage Homage is a little bit evil, isn’t she? 😉 Your scones on the other look absolutely heavenly! Did the blue cheese smell or taste stronger baked into the scone dough?
There was certainly a strong (but very pleasant) smell while the scones cooked, and the flavour of the cheese was balanced by the herbs… trust me, if the smell or taste of blue cheese was too strong, this recipe would never have made it onto the blog.