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Asiago Pear Scones

In England a scone is a rather simple, smaller, tender crumbed delight that is served with afternoon tea. Its American cousin is larger and might be full of add-ins ranging from fruit and nuts to cheeses, herbs, and smoked meats. Americans might consider a scone to be breakfast or a bread side to a heavy meal.

Mimi's Kitchen has spent the summer churning out American scones chock a block full of everything from chocolate coated coffee beans to chopped dried cherries paired with dark chocolate chunks and even a wretched Snickers experiment.

Today's American scone started as a simple affair using the first of the summer pears. That was it. It was all I was going to add but then I gave way to the temptation of adding a little Asiago cheese for its pungent counterbalance to the sweet pears. I then turned to a sprig of fresh rosemary from my garden just because I could not help myself.

The cakey crumb that emerged from all this sconey fuss is pure American. It might be breakfast washed down with a mug of coffee or it might be served as a dinner side. It would not be an afternoon tea delight. It is too heavy and cakey to be served for tea. Whereas my British cousins might enjoy the melding of flavors they would not recognize this as a scone; they would not serve this with afternoon tea; and they would not be pleased that their American Cousins call this a scone.

An American, however, might appreciate this carb bomb for its perfect balance of sweet and pungent flavors paired with an almost imperceptible sharp woodsy taste of rosemary.

Asiago Pear Scone

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup cold butter, cut into small cubes

¾ cup chopped fresh pear

½ cup grated Asiago cheese

1 cup whipping cream

2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

Measure out ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons cream into a liquid measuring cup. Stir in chopped fresh rosemary and let steep for 5 - 10 minutes.

In a large medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter cubes into the flour until the mixture is crumbly and the size of small peas. Gently stir the Asiago cheese into the flour butter mixture until it is well coated. Gently fold in the chopped pear.

Pour the cream and rosemary into the flour mixture and stir very gently just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Turn the dough out onto a sheet of waxed paper or very lightly floured counter-top. Pat into a 7 inch circle. Cut the round into 8 wedges. Gently arrange the scones 2 inches apart on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Let the scones chill in the freezer while the oven preheat to 450°.

Before baking brush the tops of the wedges with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream just until moistened. Bake chilled scones in preheated oven 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.

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