I am obsessed with scones. They're one of my favorite treats. In fact there was a time in my life (not very long ago) where I pretty much couldn't make it through a day without having a scone. I love berry scones, but I also like playing with savory combinations. These scones take the delicious fennel and red pepper flavors you'd have eating an Italian sausage, and incorporate them into a buttery, flaky treat for snacking or to have as an accompaniment to soup or salad. Or turn them into little scone sandwiches! - fiveandspice —fiveandspice
Test Kitchen Notes
These scones are a nice change from plain or sweet scones. Be sure to use a nice Manchego, the flavor of the nutty, melty cheese in the warm scones is wonderful. – Stephanie —The Editors
large red bell pepper
Manchego cheese, grated
1 1/2 teaspoons
stick (8 Tbs.) chilled butter, cut into small pieces
heavy whipping cream
egg beaten with a teensy amount of water, for an egg wash
Fire roast the bell pepper over the burner of a gas stove (or under a broiler), turning often, until the skin is blistering and getting black spots on the outside. Put the pepper into a paper bag, close the bag and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Remove from the bag, and once it is cool enough, core the pepper, peel off the skin, and dice it.
Toss the diced pepper and shredded cheese with one Tbs. of the flour.
Preheat your oven to 400F.
In a dry frying pan, toast the fennel seeds over medium-high heat for just a minute or so until they start smelling fragrant. Transfer them immediately out of the frying pan, so as to not overcook them. Grind with a mortar and pestle.
In a mixing bowl, stir together the fennel, flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. With a pastry cutter (or 2 knives, or using your fingers but working quickly), cut in the butter until you have a coarse meal with pea-size lumps of butter. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
Whisk together the cream and 2 eggs, then pour into the well. Stir until it just begins to blend together, then stir in the peppers and cheese and mix until everything is just barely incorporated.
Turn your dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently for just a half-minute until it is blended, then pat the dough out into a ¾ inch thick circle. Cut the circle into 8 triangles and place these on a greased baking sheet, and inch apart from each other.
Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash (if desired, sprinkle them with just a touch of cracked black pepper). Bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown on top. Cool on a wire cooling rack. Eat them as soon as possible because scones are by far the best when they’re fresh!
I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (www.vikredistillery.com), where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.