I got the idea for these Savory Salmon Goat Cheese Scones from an anesthesiologist. I know that sounds crazy. But here’s how it happened.
Before he could put me under (yes thanks, I’m fine), we bonded over our mutual love of food. Regaling me with tales of smoked salmon and goat cheese scones put me in a good mood. It also gave me an idea. Or should I say an obsession.
When I got back to baking about 10 days later, I couldn’t stop thinking about the prospect of savory scones with smoked salmon and goat cheese.
The anesthesiologist mentioned that his version riffed on King Arthur’s Bacon Cheddar Chive Scones. So that’s where I started too. We happen to love the Costco version of those items, so it was a short step from concept to this.
Before you double-check this recipe against my inspiration, let me give you a few pointers.
- Special occasion food. Smoked salmon is not cheap, even at Costco. And goat cheese, while less expensive, can also set you back a few dollars. So this is a special treat. Besides, you can freeze both (tightly wrapped) so feel free to use part of a package and freeze the rest. Hint – it’s fine to use less smoked salmon or substitute a less expensive smoked fish.
- Serving size. These scones are best the day they are made. And these days most of our socializing is in small groups. So I cut the recipe in half.
- Slightly healthy. They are scones, which means they aren’t the healthiest option. But you can even make scones healthier. I’m trying hard on that score. My recent foray into switching out all purpose white for other flours, led me to swap some of the white flour for spelt. I also eliminated the sugar in the King Arthur recipe. It wasn’t much, but I didn’t see the need for it.
- Quick and easy. I made these in a food processor. You can certainly mix them in a bowl, but it takes a bit longer.
Making Savory Salmon Goat Cheese Scones
- Gather ingredients. You know that right? Mise en place or being organized makes baking and cooking so much easier. When it comes to this step, do as I say, not as I sometimes do. (When chaos reigns in my kitchen, I get the job done, just not as quickly.)
- Keep ingredients cool. Cutting the smoked salmon and goat cheese is easier when those ingredients are cold. I like to keep them frozen until shortly before I use them.
- Do not over-mix the dough. You want the scone mixture to be crumbly when you add the smoked salmon, goat cheese, and dill. After mixing, the dough should barely hang together.
What to Serve with Savory Salmon Goat Cheese Scones
Of course, you could have these simply with a beverage and call it a day. But if you’re going to the trouble of baking scones, don’t you want them as part of a nice brunch or lunch? My suggestions. Add a pot of excellent coffee or tea, or a pitcher of your favorite brunch/lunchtime cocktails/mocktails and you’re all set.
- Simple eggs – Scrambled or poached, a few eggs would go really well with these scones.
- A green salad – Grab a few different kinds and colors of lettuce, add endive or radicchio (or both) and maybe a few cherry tomatoes or slices of cucumber.
- Grilled vegetables – Asparagus or a medley of grilled vegetables would complement these scones beautifully.
Savory Salmon Goat Cheese Scones
Chock full of savory goodness, you can whip up these scones in a flash in a food processor.
- 1/2 cup AP white flour 2 & 1/8 oz/60 g
- 1/2 cup spelt flour 1 & 3/4 oz/50 g See note below for other substitutions
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 tablespoon baking powder 7 g
- 2 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into about 6-8 small pieces 1 oz/28 g
- 1/2 cup creamy goat cheese, cold, diced into chunks 4 oz/117 g
- 1/4 pound smoked salmon, cold and chopped into small pieces 4 oz/ 113 g
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped 1 teaspoon dried dill may be substituted but fresh is definitely preferable
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, divided 4 oz/113 g
Preheat oven to 425° F/ 220 C° if baking immediately. Line a baking sheet with parchment
Put the flours, salt, and baking powder in the food processor or bowl. Pulse the processor a few times until combined or whisk them in the bowl for a few strokes.
Add the butter and pulse 3-4 times until butter is incorporated but some pieces remain visible. Add in the smoked salmon, goat cheese and dill, and pulse about 4 more times. Do not overmix. The dough should be crumbly. If using bowl and mixer or fork, mix until barely combined.
Add just over 1/3 cup (2& 2/3 oz/ 75 g) of the heavy cream and pulse a few more times or mix again, until cream is no longer visible.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and pat the dough until it holds together. Then shape into about a 6-inch/15 cm disk, about 1 & 1/2-inches/4 cm thick. Cut the disk in half, then half again and each quarter in half, yielding 8 wedges. Spread the wedges apart on the parchment-lined sheet .
If baking immediately, brush each scone with the remaining heavy cream to help the crust brown. Bake for about 20 minutes. If you prefer to make them later, freeze the scones on the sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag. When ready to bake, brush the scones and bake them for about 25 minutes from frozen.