Why It Works
- Using more cream than butter gives these scones more lactose, helping them brown and crisp along the bottom.
- Milk cuts the richness of cream, keeping the scones light in both taste and texture.
- A pinch of sugar in the dough complements the savory chunks of ham.
If your fridge is stuffed with leftover ham after the holidays, these super-simple scones are all you need to polish it off. Studded with pockets of tender ham and gooey cheese, with savory bites of scallion throughout, they're a perfect addition to any brunch menu. But don't forget: Only a handful of cheese goes in the dough itself! The rest is reserved to sprinkle on top, giving these scones a cheesy, golden crust.
- 9 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 cups, spooned; 255g), plus more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon (12g) baking powder
- 2 teaspoons (8g) sugar
- 1 teaspoon (4g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume or use the same weight
- 2 ounces cold unsalted butter (4 tablespoons; 55g), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 7 ounces diced, fully cooked ham (about 1 heaping cup; 200g)
- 1 ounce chopped scallion (shy 1/4 cup; 30g)
- 4 ounces coarsely shredded cheese, such as cheddar or Gruyère (about 2/3 cup; 115g), divided (see note)
- 2 ounces milk (1/4 cup; 55g), any percentage will do
- 6 ounces heavy cream (3/4 cup; 170g)
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Sift flour into a medium bowl, then whisk in baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add butter and toss to break up the pieces, then smash each one flat between your fingertips. Continue smashing and rubbing until butter disappears into a coarse meal.
Add diced ham, scallion, and only 1 ounce cheese (shy 1/4 cup; 30g); the rest will be used to top the scones. Toss until well combined, then stir in milk and cream to form a stiff dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7-inch round, no less than 1 inch thick. Cut into 6 wedges with a chef’s knife, cover with remaining cheese, and arrange on a parchment-lined half sheet pan.
Bake until puffed and golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool at least 5 minutes. Serve as a snack, with eggy brunch dishes, or alongside hearty soups and stews. Leftovers can be stored up to 24 hours in an airtight container, then briefly warmed in a 350°F (180°C) oven to serve.
This recipe works well with almost any sort of firm, shreddable cheese, so feel free to use whatever you have on hand, from Swiss to parm.