Try to imagine me screaming from the rooftops that you absolutely must try this recipe: I am so proud of it and I really do think they need making and devouring.
This is my twist on scotch eggs, but varied somewhat to incorporate a kedgeree flavour: spiced haddock is wrapped around soft-boiled quail eggs, before being encased in a spiced scone and then baked.
The idea of an “egg in a scone” is not mine; I had eaten a few of these several years ago, but I was reminded of these when I saw Mary-Anne Boermans’ Egg Scones on her fabulous blog Time to Cook Online. This, however, is my take, using the spiced haddock in place of the sausagemeat.
The scones are excellent eaten at toom temperature or warmed up, and are particularly good with a simple dip made of yoghurt, coriander and seasoning.
Spiced haddock paste
A spiced haddock paste might not sound terribly inviting, but it has got bags of flavour from the spices, with a little sweetness from mango chutney. As it is mostly protein, it sets around the egg giving a nice texture – and a good contrast, flavour-wise and texturally, to the very light scone.
A soft-boiled egg interior……
It is a challenge to get a runny yolk with the quail eggs, although even if you have a firmer yolk in the finished scones I promise you that you will still love them!
I cook the eggs in their shell for a minute so they are barely set and leave them a little in the water for the whites to firm up enough.
When it comes to shelling the eggs, you need to go carefully so you don’t tear through the whites and release the yolk! To help with this, you can freeze them for half and hour or so: the shells then come off very easily.
Or how about omitting the quail eggs?
I decided to make a couple of this batch without the quail egg, just to see how they would turn out ie) just the spiced haddock paste running through it, but using a little more of it.
It works brilliantly this way, with the spices coming through clearly and the taste of the smoked haddock very much in evidence.
Recipe: spiced smoked haddock scones – makes 12
Spiced smoked haddock paste:
- 100g smoked haddock
- 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 heaped teaspoon good quality curry powder or paste
- 1 teaspoon mango chutney
- about a tablespoon of pistachios or almonds, lightly toasted in a pan
Poached smoked haddock mixture:
- 150g smoked haddock, cut into rough chunks
- 150ml full-fat milk
- 1 bay leaf, torn
- a little salt and freshly milled black pepper
- 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
- a little butter
- 1 teaspoon good quality curry powder or curry paste
- 225g self-raising flour
- 40g unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 rounded teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon salt
- most of the reserved milk from the poaching
- 12 quail eggs
- beaten egg for glazing the scones
- onion seeds for sprinkling over
(1) Soft-poach the quail eggs: place in a pan of simmering water and simmer gently for 1 minute before turning off the heat and leaving the eggs for another minute. Transfer the eggs to a bowl of cold water and leave to cool fully before peeling carefully.
(2) Make the spiced haddock paste: place the ingredients into a food processor or liquidiser. Blitz until you get a fairly smooth paste. Chill until needed.
(3) For the poached haddock: heat the milk in a small pan with the bay leaf, pepper and salt until it just comes to the boil. Turn down the heat and add the haddock, simmering very gently for about 1 minute. Turn off the heat and leave the haddock in the milk until it has cooled.
(4) Fry the onion in the butter in a small pan with the curry powder for about 5 minutes until the onions are just soft. Stir in a couple of tablespoons of the milk and heat for another minute or so. Leave to cool.
(5) Remove the haddock from the milk and reserve the milk for the scones. Leave the milk and the haddock to cool.
(6) Make the scone dough: sift the flour, baking powder, garam masala and salt into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
(7) Flake the poached haddock roughly into small pieces and add to the bowl, mixing well with the dry ingredients. Put the cooled onion mixture into the bowl and gently incorporate with your fingertips: at this stage, you want to have small pieces of texture from the haddock and the like in there.
(8) Add most of the cooled milk, stirring with a round-bladed knife to form a soft but not sticky dough, adding more milk if necessary.
(9) When the mixture has come together, tip out onto a floured surface and knead gently to give a smooth dough. Cut the dough into 12 pieces and flatten each piece to just under 1cm thick and about the size of the palm of your hand. Spread each with the haddock paste, leaving a small border all around. Gently press a peeled egg in the centre of each, point side down.
(10) Bring up each piece dough around the egg, trying not to trap air bubbles. Seal the dough at the top. You can gently roll it in your hands to smoothen it off a little – dust your hands in flour so that they do not stick.
(11) Place in well greased muffin tins, smoothest side (the point of the egg!) up. Brush the tops with beaten egg and sprinkle over a few onion seeds.
(12) Bake for 15 minutes in an oven preheated to 200C(fan), rotating the tins after 10 minutes to ensure even colouring. Cool for about 5 minutes in the tin before carefully removing and cooling on a wire rack. Alternatively, serve warm.