Welcome to my new monthly Baking Blog. Each month will feature an in-season fruit or vegetable dish to make with a little bit of grow-your-own information on the side.
January is perfect for making Parsnip Scones!
The humble parsnip, a mainstay of the Sunday Roast has been cultivated since the Ancient Greek and Roman times. Long before Sugar Canes were harvested this tapered cylindrical cream coloured vegetable acted as a sweetener for foods. Originating in Eurasia (Europe and Asia) and closely related to both carrots and Parsley this root can be eaten in both its cooked and raw forms.
Fibre-rich Parsnips contain plenty of vitamins and minerals so by baking them you can sneak one of your five-a-day into the kids’s lunchbox without too much drama.
Prep Time 10-30* minutes. Oven Temp 220°C/Fan 200°C/Gas 7. Cooking Time 15-30 minutes**
Skills Level Easy Peasy.***
- Measuring Scales.
- Measuring Spoons.
- Measuring Jug.
- Vegetable Peeler.
- Sharp Knife. Blunt Knife.
- Mixing Bowl.
- Rolling pin.
- Rolling Mat (optional).
- Scone or pastry cutter.
- Baking Tray.
- Baking Parchment/grease proof paper.
- Cooling Rack.
- 500g of Parsnips.
- 375g of Plain Flour.
- 4 Teaspoons of Baking Powder.
- 275ml of Milk.
- 2 -3 Teaspoons of Rosemary or Mixed Herbs.
- 1 -2 Teaspoon of Black Pepper.
- 1-2 Teaspoons of Turmeric (optional).
- 50-70g of your favourite cheese.
- Peel and Dice as many parsnips as it takes to measure 500g. If you have an electric steamer cook them until they are soft enough to mash around ten to twelve minutes. If you intend to boil the parsnips do not use salt as this recipe does not require salt.
- While the parsnips cook measure out the dry ingredients. Sieve the flour and baking powder together in a mixing bowl. Add the herbs and spices and turn gently with a blunt knife or metal measuring spoon. Cover until parsnips are ready.
- Drain and mash the parsnips allowing them to cool completely.
- Heat the oven then add the cold parsnips to the dry ingredients and combine with a blunt knife until the mixture sticks together.
- Gradually add the milk in 50ml increments constantly blending it with the knife. Once it begins to form a dough use your hands to knead it well. Do not worry if there is plenty of milk left over as you can use it to brush the scones with later. Leave dough to rest while you line a tray with baking parchment. (Alternatively grease tray with a little butter.)
- Once you have a crack-free dough use a little flour on your rolling mat and pin then roll the dough into 2cm thick even layer.
- Use a scone/pastry cutter to cut the scones and place them on the baking tray. Re-roll the leftovers until you have used all the dough.
- Lightly brush with leftover milk or an egg if you prefer.
- Sprinkle cheese on top of each scone.
- Place on middle shelf and bake for around 15 minutes or until they are a warm golden colour and the cheese has melted.
Slice and fill with pickle/chutney and cheese.
Slice, butter and dunk into soup.
Freeze for eating with a ploughman’s salad in summer.
Grow Your Own
It couldn’t be easier to grow your own parsnips as they virtually look after themselves. To start off pick from the following varieties: Albion, Gladiator, Panorama or Tender and True all available in the The Seed Catalogue (page 54) or online. Prepare you ground over winter – they like a light weed free deep bed, in a preferably sunny and open site. Sow the seeds in March April or May 15cm apart and 13mm deep. Then thin the weakest so that once the seedlings’ first two true leaves show they are 30cm apart. Continue to hand weed to avoid root damage. Catch crops such as Radish can be sown alongside them – finally ensure the soil is kept moist to avoid the roots forking. Also consider covering with Enviromesh or horticultural fleece to protect from Carrot fly and other pests.
More information can be found from T&M online How to Grow Parsnips guide.
*Depending on if you have pre-cooked Parsnips.
**Depending on if you have pre-cooked Parsnips.
*** Easy Peasy – Basic techniques/Suitable for Children with adult supervision/help.
Treat as Tender – Intermediate Skills required/Children may need more help with this.
Seasoned Kitchen Gardener – Confident Baker/Children might not be suited to this.