Blue cheese and pear scones with rocket and speck (by guest blogger Rutti)

Blue cheese and pear scones with rocket and speck

An old friend of mine recently posted a picture of these scones on facebook. My mouth dropped and I started drooling the moment I saw it, so I asked her to guest star on Susan’s Sumptuous Suppers to share her recipe. So, with no further ado, may I introduce Rutti, with her magnificent blue cheese and pear scones with rocket and speck:

I love blue cheese, which, in my thinking, isn’t such a big leap for someone who loves belachan. (That is another story involving a lot of childhood memories and a whole load of Australians gagging at the smell…) Back to blue cheese….my first experience was about 12 years ago and it was a layer of blue vein on top of a slice of beurre bosc pear. That marvellous combination has stuck with me and it’s still my favourite way to have blue cheese.  I recently moved to Cairns where I discovered a dairy farm in the tablelands call Gallo Dairyland that produces some pretty tasty cheese and chocolate.  They have a really soft and creamy blue cheese and I couldn’t resist buying a block. It wasn’t cheap, or small. Hell I drove an hour and a half to this farm so I was got to make it worth my while!  This was my last method of using up the last chunk of cheese I had.  If you don’t have speck, prosciutto or a really nice ham or smoked bacon is just as nice.

Makes about 12

2 cups self raising flour
½ cup crumbed blue cheese (if you’re using mild blue cheese, I would up the ante to 1 to 1 ½ cups. It depends on how strong you like it)
½ teaspoon salt
40 grams unsalted butter, diced
1 1/4 cup milk
1 container Maggie Beer’s pear paste,   chopped into small pieces
12 slices speck
1 handful rocket

To make the scones, heat a fan-forced oven to 180 degrees.  Shift the flour and the salt into a mixing bowl.  Add the butter and mix by hand until it resembles crumbs. Add the milk, chopped pear paste and cheese and knead until it is mixed well. Don’t over mix it. If it starts to resemble plasticine, start again! You want it soft not too sticky or stretchy.  Roll it into a ball and knead for another 5 minutes on a lightly floured surface.  Again, soft not plasticine! Let it rest for a 5-10 minutes.  Roll it out to a 2-3 cm thickness and cut about 12 scones.  Lay them on a tray lined with baking paper, ensuring the scones are close to each other-when they rise, they will join and ‘support’ each other and that gives you even sizes. Brush the tops with a bit of milk and bake for 15 minutes or until tops are golden brown.  If you tap them and they sound hollow, they are cooked. Cool on a wire rack.

Heat a frying pan over a medium low heat, without oil, for a few minutes. I use a copper Scanpan but a nonstick works just as well. Dry fry the thin slices of speck until just cooked through.  Remove from heat and leave in a plate. I don’t drain the speck on absorbent paper, as I want the scones to absorb the drippings. Slice a scone in half, add a few rocket leaves and top with speck.  Butter the topside of the scone and serve with a glass of red wine.  It’s a great picnic snack or serves well as a light dinner 🙂

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