I'm really regretting using my Friends reference to the beef trifle in a previous post - because this one is definitely more of a head-scratcher. Pear scones - good. Goat cheese scones - good. Peppered scones - good. All three? Somehow, it's gooooood.
I was actually pretty apprehensive about these as I mixed them up, but I was so intrigued that I forged on. I was also tempted to decrease the pepper, but it turns out that the combination of the sweet pears and spicy pepper was my favorite part of these scones. I was even more apprehensive as I shaped them, because they were really crumbly and dry. But again, I forged on, and when they came out of the oven they had transformed into moist, flavorful scones. Absolute perfection. I served these on the side of a main-dish salad that very night, and then enjoyed the leftovers for breakfast and snacks.
The only other problem I had with the recipe is that my scones didn't brown on top. I know its a minor complaint, but I think next time I'll brush the tops with melted butter instead of milk. This was such a surprising cooking success, and I can't wait to make them again - perhaps an apple and cheddar version next time?
Peppered Pear and Goat Cheese Scones
adapted from Savory Baking, by Mary Cech
makes 6-8 scones
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 Tbs granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 stick butter, grated and frozen for 10-15 minutes
- 1 medium pear, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped
- 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled into walnut-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup buttermilk or yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons whole milk
- 1 Tablespoon butter, melted
Pour the buttermilk and whole milk over the flour mixture and lightly blend with a spatula. The dough may look dry, but it will come together in the oven.
Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, scoop the dough into mounds evenly spaced on the baking sheet. Brush the scones with the melted butter, and sprinkle with extra pepper. Bake until lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.