Also, you may have noticed the changes of fruits in your local markets. Apples, cranberries, and pears are bountiful, replacing the stone fruits, and since I like to use what is local, I turned to pears to create a warm scone for my breakfast. The cultivation of pears in cool temperature climates may date back to prehistoric times, although earliest notes of the use of pears is found in early Roman "cookbooks," where it was stewed with herbs for meals. Our present day pear is thought to have originated in Western China, in the foothills of Tian Shan and spread to the north and south along that mountain range. What we know as the Asian Pear is often confused with apples, but one bite will tell the difference. This morning, I had a ripened Bartlett, but a Bosc or even Asian Pear would have been just as delightful.
4 cups (+more for kneading) King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 T + 1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. Kosher salt
2 tsp. ground Ginger
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark), packed
2/3 cup (10 1/3 T) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 T Molasses
1/3 cup Ginger Mini Chips (or diced candied ginger)
1 cup + 1 T Half & Half
1 large egg
1 pear, peeled, cored, and cut in 1/2-inch pieces
Preheat oven to 375F-degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a stand mixer, using a paddle attachment, combine 3 1/2 cups of flour and the next seven dry ingredients. Add the butter "cubes" and mix on low speed to incorporate. The mixture will still have some same pieces of butter, but be mostly mixed to a rough state.
Add the molasses and ginger chips and mix about 1 minute to incorporate. Whisk together the egg into the measurement of the half & half and with the mixer running, slowly pour the egg/milk into the dry ingredients, reserving about 2 Tablespoons of it for brushing the tops of the scones before baking.
Stir 1/2 cup flour into the diced pears. Use a spatula or dough blade to incorporate into the scone mixture.
Place dough on a floured board and lightly knead until smooth--do not overwork the dough.
Roll dough out to about a 10-inch circle, 3/4 to 1-inch thick.
Use a 4-inch scalloped cutter to cut the dough. Place on the parchment lined baking sheet. I was able to get 9, but if you like them "fatter" you may only get 8.
Brush tops with the reserved egg/half & half mixture, then, sprinkle with Sparkling Sugar Crystals.
Bake in preheated oven 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
There's nothing like a warm scone with a cup or tea, coffee or cocoa to take the chill off. I know, from experience, that just baking warms the heart and these scones warm the stomach. I had mine with some butter and my Cherry-Cranberry Jam.
Take time during this busy holiday season (that has been pushed upon us) to get back to the memories that warm your heart. Enjoy!