Scones are one of my very favorite breakfasts. Also a beloved snack with tea! So when I got a (20 lb) case of fresh sweet cherries, I set my sights on making Cherry Maple Pecan Scones.
Now one of the big problems with scones is that many recipes are not exactly healthy. They get their delicate crumb from a lot of butter that melts as they cook making air pockets. Unfortunately… butter=high in saturated fat=high in calories.
But I had a lucky accident with these Cherry Maple Pecan Scones (and believe me, my cooking accidents are NOT usually lucky!). I started with my currant scone recipe, swapped maple syrup for sugar and added the slightly juicy chopped cherries.
With all that moisture, I needed 50% more flour (half whole wheat pastry for health)–and I was worried.
These are going to come out like hockey pucks I thought.
But the resulting scones were light and fluffy. And just over 150 calories each! I immediately made a second batch to see if the results were repeatable. A second success! And we loved the slightly sweet, slightly nutty flavor!
I love buying in bulk because it is more economical–and can be time efficient if you plan well. And of course buying seasonally, then preserving, is key if you are going to extend local eating to a northern winter! But buying produce in bulk does challenge a person to cook differently. And today it was a very good thing!
Who’d have thought that seasonal produce would be the mother of invention??
- • 1 ½ cups unbleached flour
- • 1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
- • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- • 4 Tablespoon butter (½ stick)
- • 2 eggs, plus one egg white (for egg wash)
- • 1/3 cup maple syrup
- • 1/4 tsp salt
- • 1½ cups cherries, pitted and chopped
- • ½ cup chopped pecans
- couple teaspoons beaten egg for egg wash
- sanding sugar for decorating
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a fork or pastry tool (or your fingers), until butter pieces are tiny and flour-coated. Mixture will resemble crumbs but will still be a fairly floury.
- In a separate bowl, beat two eggs, and stir in the maple syrup. Stir the egg mixture into the dry ingredients, until barely moistened then add the cherries & pecans. Finish combining, being careful not to overmix. Add additional liquid or flour if needed but don’t worry if they are sticky (I “scrape” my finished scones off the table with a pancake turner, i.e. poor man's pastry scraper)
- Knead a couple times on a floured surface, then pat together into two approximately 2 x 8 inch rectangles. Cut the rectangles in to four 2 x 2 inch pieces, then cut each of those on a diagonal to make triangular scones.
- Transfer scones to a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Brush each scone with some of the beaten egg, and sprinkle with sanding (large crystal) sugar.
- Bake at 400 F for 15 – 20 minutes until slightly golden and an inserted toothpick comes out dry.
- Serve warm or cold with butter and/or jam.