While we are not entirely captured by the concept of “cream tea,” Gourmandistan does like a scone now and again. But while there are many recipes, most are too sweet, too cake-like or too dry and crumbly for our tastes. After quite a bit of experimentation, we’ve (for now) settled on this version, which we’ve adapted from software engineer-turned-vegetarian-cookbook author Michael Natkin.
We enjoyed winy pear flavor spiked with fresh ginger, but added a bit of dried for extra zing plus some fresh rosemary that adds freshness, spice and a wonderful fragrance.
The result is lively, just a little sweet and has a lovely crumb that stands up to a freezing. It may not be what they’re used to in the Cotswolds, but we think they do fine.
PEAR, ROSEMARY & GINGER SCONES
(adapted from this recipe)
- 1-1/2 TB butter
- 2 small Bosc pears, peeled, cored and finely diced
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
Melt the butter in a small skillet. Add pears, sugar and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pears are starting to caramelize. Add the ginger and cook for a couple of minutes more until ginger is no longer raw.
Transfer the pears to a plate, in a single layer. Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. (This can be done the night before you are going to make the scones.)
- 2-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 TB baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1⁄4 c. sugar
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. dried ginger
- 8 TB (1 stick) very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1-1/2 TB chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 c. buttermilk, plus additional as needed
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt and ginger in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a couple of times. Add butter to the flour mixture. Pulse until the butter is broken down though still in pieces, as if making biscuits.
Transfer flour/butter mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add cold pears and any hardened juices and butter, breaking the pears up into individual pieces with your fingers. Toss to coat each piece of pear with the flour mixture and distribute equally. Add rosemary and toss again.
Add the buttermilk. Mix with a wooden spoon until all of the dry ingredients are moistened. You may need another 1 to 2 tablespoons buttermilk, depending on how thick the buttermilk you are using is. You want the dough just to hold together, and not be too wet.
Turn the dough out on to a piece of floured wax paper. Knead very briefly.
Flatten the dough into a circle about 7″ in diameter. Cut into 6 equal pie-shaped wedges. Transfer to baking sheet.
- 1 TB melted butter
- 1-1/2 TB Demerara sugar
Brush the tops of the scones with melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for about 18 minutes, until browned.