Served warm from the oven these scones with their chunks of tender pear and the nutty sweetness of gruyere will brighten the morning for those lucky enough to receive one.
2 large pears, peeled, cored and diced 2cm pieces (you need 2½ cups)
2 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons caster sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon aniseed*, toasted and lightly ground
1 cup grated gruyere cheese
50 grams very cold butter
1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 180˚C
Place the pears on a lined baking tray and bake for 15 minutes, turning once until lightly coloured and they look a little dry. Spread out on a large plate and cool. The pears will discolour a little, but this is fine.
Increase the oven to 200˚C.
Put the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, aniseed and cheese in a large bowl. Grate in the cold butter and toss everything together with a fork.
Mix in the cooled pears then add the milk. Quickly bring together with a fork to form a very soft dough. Tip onto a lightly floured bench and pat into a rectangle about 3cm thick. Cut into 8 pieces and carefully transfer to a lined baking tray. The scones will be very soft. Brush the tops with beaten egg then bake for 12 minutes until puffed and golden. Serve warm with butter. Makes 8
*Aniseed is not the same as star anise. Look for it at good food stores as well as Indian and Asian shops. Substitute ½ teaspoon ground fennel or cumin if unavailable.