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Mar 11, 2005 11:04 AM

Sam's San Francisco-Style Cowgirl Creme Scones with Serrano Ham and Smoky Chile Jam

  • s

A lot of people on the Bay Area board love the local restaurant Town Hall appetizer called 'Warm Bakewell Biscuits with Smithfield Ham and Pepper Jam'. But at $12.50 a pop, I couldn't help thinking it would be quite easy to make at home.

I was recently tried to source Smithfield Ham locally on the Bay Area newsgroup, without much luck. The reason was to try and recreate the Town Hall's recipe at home.

In the end I decided to develop a more local recipe. One that celebrated local products.

So instead of Bakewell cream, I used Creme Fraiche from the cowgirl creamery. Instead of red pepper jam, I bought some of Tierra's Chile Jam at the Ferry Building Farmer's Market. ($8.50 a jar, will last for ages). I failed on the ham front in terms of local, but instead of using hard-to-find Smithfield, I opted for Serrano which I personally like. Prosciutto would be an aternative.

Here is my recipe:

For the Scones, Ingredients:
(makes about 20)
2 cups of flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
6 oz butter (6 tablespoons)
1/3rd cup of Cowgirl Creamery Creme Fraiche
1/3rd cup of water
1 egg, beaten

Recipe Method
Preheat the oven to 450 F
Sieve the flour, baking powder and soda into a large bowl. Add salt.
Slice cold butter into small cubes. Add to the flour.
Crumb the ingredients together using the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Mix the water and cream together and then add to the flour mixture.
Mix together until a dough forms.
Knead gently.
Roll dough out to a thickness of about 1/2 an inch.
Using a small cookie-cutter, cut out rounds and place on an ungreased baking-tray.
Brush the tops with beaten egg.
Cook for 13-15 minutes until firm and golden.
Remove scones to a wire rack. Eat as soon as possible, the fresher the better.

Serve the scones butter, ham and chile jam.
Scones need butter. We used a cold, unsalted European butter.
You can use whichever butter is your favourite.
Our ham of choice would be a cured salty ham like serrano or prosciutto.
If you can get the Smithfield ham then great, but it's difficult to source here in San Francisco which is why chose the Serrano.
We were intending to make some homemade chili jam but changed our minds when we discovered Tierra's range of chili jams at the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmer's Market. The jams are $8.50 a jar. There are several options, we like the Smoky with Rojo and Chipotle chiles best.

I have made a few different scone recipes recently. This one, which I developed myself, makes really light, delicious scones. I served the scones as a mid-afternoon snack with a rose cava when some friends dropped by to check out our new pad. They went down very well!


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  1. f

    Your spin on it looks even better than Town Hall's. And I LOVE the idea of using Serrano ham. If only we could get Iberico in this country . . . .

    Anyway, I have another use for that great Tierra Farms chile jam, which I love. It's great on water crackers with goat cheese. Here is the method. Take some fresh, soft goat cheese (I use some made by a local SF cheesemaker, Andante), and mash it well with a fork(if it's too crumbly add a little heavy cream or half and half to smooth it out). Spread the goat cheese on water crackers (or crostini, if you like) and then top with a dollop of that wonderful chile jam and then a little bit of minced chives. Great starter for a dinner party--serve with a zippy unoaked white with acidity such as Sauv. Blanc, or of course champagne, prosecco or your favorite dry sparkling wine will be great too. Also good with my favorite campari cocktail--mix equal parts of campari and limoncello and add OJ to your taste.

    1. OMG, your version looks fabulous! Town Hall may steal from you now. You have totally inspired me to try this myself. Your scone recipe looks like my kind of scone. I'm going to make my own local version (will try to score some ham from Corralitos Sausage Co.) and see what happens. Thanks again.

      1. c
        Caitlin McGrath

        6 oz butter is 12 tablespoons.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

          Argh - yes you are right
          that's the trouble with being english living in the US
          always getting my conversions muddled up

          yes 3oz of butter = 6 tbspoons for this recipe
          sorry everyone

        2. I've seen Town Hall's menu and the app. you mentioned sounds wonderful. Thanks for posting your version, now I can try it without the cost. Though, I hope to eat there soon.