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Sunday
Nov112012

Chai Pear Scones

Chai Pear Scones

I've scarcely seen the sun in the last month. Thick clouds obscure the light, turning day into reflections of night. Even though my body aches for a good dose of vitamin D, the overcast skies and foggy mornings lend a beauty all their own. Mother Nature's dreary mood makes it easy to stay at home, buried underneath blankets, sipping hot black tea. Comfort food fits the character of the weather. Earlier this week I made a batch of homemade chicken noodle & barley soup; half a dozen hot meals later, I can say with certainty that I'm glad to have used the biggest pot.

Though the leaves have left the trees bare long ago, fall weather is still in the air.

Chai Pear Scones

With gloomy skies outside the window, it has become increasingly difficult to pull myself out of bed in the morning. In the summer, when the sun rises bright and early, I feel awake and ready for the day, afraid I may miss out if I linger in bed any longer. In the fall, I'm lucky to see the other side of eight in the morning. The dark, sunless skies make me want to bury myself in the warmth of the blankets and stay in bed for hours, cozy and comfortable. Despite how I'd rather spend my mornings, responsibilities never stop calling. I allow myself to hit the snooze button once or twice, using it to prolong the inevitable first steps out of bed.

With sleepy eyes and an aversion to brightness, I slowly find a way to face the day.

Chai Pear Scones Chai Pear Scones

The long, dark weather makes it difficult for me to get any real work done. In between watching television and reading books, I'm drawn to the warmth of the oven and sweetening the air with the scents of autumn. Dark, moody days are my favorite for photography. I know most photographers prefer to shoot by the bright light of the sun, but I adore how the somber light brings sharp shadows and a rough texture to the food. The food somehow feels more raw to me, making the food appear less overdone (but no less appetizing).

These scones were photographed on the dreariest morning of last week. With a rain streaked window and only a hint of light coming in through the panes, I feel like I managed to capture the essence of the morning.

Chai Pear Scones

Chai Pear Scones is where the love of scones meets the enchantment of a cup of tea. The chai spices complement the complexity of a ripe pear in this simple breakfast pastry. A good sprinkling of sugar on top of the scones before they go into the oven ensures they will develop a thin, sweet crust which adds great texture to an otherwise tender scone. The scones themselves are not very sweet, so the subtle nature of the pears is truly able to shine through. I've said it before and I'll say it again—scones and overcast skies are meant to be enjoyed together.

One Year Ago: Caramel Apple Tart
Two Years Ago: Fig & Balsamic Jam and Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

Chai Pear Scones

Yields 8 scones

2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (55 grams) granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (85 grams) butter, cut into small pieces
3 large ripe pears, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, spices, and salt. Cut in butter with pastry blender or your hands until mixture resembles coarse sand. Stir in pear chunks. Set aside.

In a small bowl, beat together egg, vanilla, and heavy cream. Pour over the scone batter and lightly mix until the dough comes together. The dough will be sticky.

Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface, form a circle, and flatten it until it is about 1-inch thick. Using a sharp knife dipped in flour, cut 8 equal pie wedges (the dough will be slightly unmanageable, but not adding additional flour results in tender scones). Transfer scones to a baking sheet using a flat spatula and sprinkle the tops of the scones with a little granulated sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Reader Comments (13)

Those sound warm and delicious! I rarely bake, or eat, pears. I believe this recipe will change that bad habit!
I love this time of year for photography as well. Lighting that is too bright creates harsh shadows that are just really unappealing. I also love this time of year for baking, and these pear scones look ahhhhmaaazzing
I'm the same way, dark dreary days really get me down. I feel like nothing is possible that day, and in the end I feel even worse because I didn't get as much done. But your scones look lovely, and the photos really captured the mood of the morning. They sound like a wonderful thing to eat on a dreary day :)
11.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeepshikha
I love your dark photos. They make your food look so rustic and beautiful all in one. It's starting to get dreary here as well, but because of the time change, the sun still shines early in the morning. Un-lucky for me, the sun is positioned just right to blind me for about 5 minutes as I drive to school at 45 miles an hour every morning. It's not too pleasant. I can't wait for dark mornings to come back.
I've always wanted to try baking with pears, and just had a couple of pears sitting on the counter for a week. So i've decided to make these. they are still in the oven, but i stole one to try, and it's delicious. Although, i think i worked the dough too much and they turned out a bit more like cookies than scones...
thank you for the recipe!
11.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterNancy
I do not bake with pears enough, and this is the perfect recipe to kick my bum into gear! This is lovely!
I really love the idea of this! I only have two pears on hand, but I do have a jar of pear jam. I'll play with the sugar and see how this comes out. Thank you!
This sounds like the perfect way to cheer up on a gloomy day! I love pastries with fruit and spices. Thanks so much!
11.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterVespa Woolf
It's hard to be productive at all when there's such a scarce amount of daylight. I somehow find time for baking though. Always. And these are definitely on my to-bake list!
I've never baked with pears before, these look so delicious and rugged. The weather today sounds exactly the same as the days these were baked. If I had pears to hand, I'd give these a go right away.
Found you through Tastespotting- drawn in by the comments on moderation, actually. Ended up making these scones yesterday. Even with only two pears, they were delicious. I think they are going to become a family standard! I am also inspired to tweak the recipe and make pear blue cheese biscuits. Mmmmm. Thank you!
11.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate
Got these in the oven right now... I have to admit, the dough had me a bit worried, I've never made scones so sticky before! But all your other recipes I've made have been wonderful, so I trust these will turn out lovely in the end as well :) Love your photography, it's difficult not to stop everything I'm doing and just go baking whenever I see you've got a new post :)
11.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHelena
After my first batch scones a while ago turned out like rocks, making scones is nerve wracking for me. But these turned out absolutely perfect! Light and fluffy and the chai flavor is wonderful! Great recipe, thank you!
05.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBassooner

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