With cherries, pecans, maple syrup and half whole grains, Maple Pecan Cherry Scones are flaky, tasty, and wholesome.
If you’re craving a pale, delicate British Tea Scone, I’d like to say this the place. But nope, not today’s scone.
Today’s Maple Pecan Cherry scone still has all of that beautiful scone-like flakiness. But it combines that with rich natural flavors like maple and cherry–and some nuttiness from pecans and half whole grains.
Yes, I’m thinking this is something John Denver might have had for breakfast, around a Rocky Mountain campfire. Coffee in a canning jar.
What are Scones
Wikipedia says that “A scone is a traditional British/Irish baked good… usually made of either wheat or oatmeal with baking powder as a leavening agent and…. often slightly sweetened…”
Made in individual servings, they are popular for breakfast, brunch, teas and luncheon sides. I decided to get creative with Maple Pecan Cherry Scones to celebrate the late summer cherry harvest!
Why You’ll Love This!
Tasty. Maple Pecan Cherry Scones are full of hearty natural flavors that feel like they come from the bounty of nature.
Healthier. This starts with half white whole wheat flour, and has (less) maple syrup instead of (more) sugar. I won’t tell your kids if you don’t.
Easy. The food processor does most of the work on these (at least once your cherries are pitted). How good is that!
What You’ll Need
- All-purpose Flour. Along with the white whole wheat flour, this provides the body of the scone.
- White Whole Wheat Flour. This adds a nutty quality to the flours. You may use additional all purpose flour, or whole wheat flour in its place.
- Baking Powder. This lightens the scone and helps it rise.
- Salt. This enhances flavor.
- Butter. This provides richness and flakiness.
- Eggs. This enriches and lightens the scone.
- Maple syrup. This adds flavor, sweetness and liquid. You could use honey instead or another liquid sweetener.
- Cherries. This provides fruity bursts of flavor and added nutrition.
- Pecans. This adds nutty flavor and a slight crunch. You can use another nut if you prefer.
- Coarse sugar. Optional for decorating
- No special tools are needed but a dough scraper is nice to transfer the scones to the baking sheet.
Step by Step Directions
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a fork, pastry tool or food processor, until butter pieces are small and flour coated. Mixture will resemble sandy crumbs.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, then remove 2-3 teaspoons. Set the smaller amount aside for later use to glaze the scones.
Stir the maple syrup into the larger quantity of beaten egg. Pour into the dry mix and pulse or stir until just moistened.
Gently mix in the cherries & pecans, then dump onto a floured surface to knead a couple times. If the mixture is too dry to hold together, add a little milk or water, a teaspoon at a time. If it’s too wet to hold together, add some additional flour.
Pat mixture into an approximately 6 x 6 inch square (picture shows larger batch of scones). Cut the square into four 3 x 3 inch pieces, then cut each of those on a diagonal to make 8 triangular scones. Transfer scones to a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray or lined with parchment.
Beat a teaspoon of water into the reserved egg to make an egg wash. Brush each scone with some of the beaten egg, and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake at 400 F for 15 – 20 minutes until just golden and an inserted toothpick comes out dry. Serve warm or cold.
How to Serve
I love scones for breakfast or brunch, especially if I’m entertaining guests. But they are lovely with other meals as well.
Consider serving scones as a side dish, especially with a good soup or salad. Or add them to a bread basket for lunch or dinner. They can go pretty much anywhere a muffin does, so have fun!
As a matter of personal taste, I like to eat my scones with butter. My husband, on the other hand, goes plain. Jam, marmalade and honey also make delicious accompaniments!
I think these should work with a variety of different fruits if you want to change out the cherries. I’m think I may try some chopped peaches next week!
I have a number of other fun scones on the blog as well. These include my Honey Lavender Scones (below) which will work if you’re looking for a that delicate British-style scone. And don’t forget savory scones like my Smoked Salmon and Dill Scone.
Scones are best the first day and good for another day or two. Seal anything that’s left by evening.
And I hate to say it, but my husband and have been known to eat a whole batch in a day. As in before bed, not 24 hours. Just for reference.
But when I have had extra, they’re still good the next day or two. If your scone seems a little worse for the wear, pop it briefly into the oven or microwave to reheat, serve with butter, and it’ll be (almost) as good as new.
They should freeze fine–and will be best if frozen as soon as they cool.
Working with Cherries
Can I use fresh or frozen cherries? I have successfully made this with both. Try to keep frozen cherries slightly frozen (they’ll thaw some while you chop) to avoid turning your scones red.
How do you pit the cherries? Because I love cherries and use them in a number of recipes, I bought a multi-hole cherry pitter. It’s an inexpensive item (under $15) that’s available online and saves a ton of time.
Otherwise, people commonly push the pit out with a straw or chopstick. And since these get chopped you could even cut them open with a knife to remove the pit.
What size should I chop the cherries? The last time I made this I halved the cherries. While okay, I decided I like them a bit smaller. This time I chopped with a chef’s knife until most of the pieces were about ¼ or so of a whole cherry.
Can I make Dried Cherry Scones? I haven’t tried this recipe with dried cherries, but it should work. You will probably need to add a couple teaspoons or more (go slow!) of extra liquid to compensate for the lower moisture levels in the dried fruit.
Tips & FAQs
The moisture levels of your dough will vary depending on a number of variables (fresh vs frozen cherries, chopped size, etc). So, adjust the final dough by adding a (very) little extra flour or liquid as needed when you (briefly) knead and pat out the dough. It’s right when it holds together but isn’t wet. But don’t obsess–I’ve had it on the dry side, and on the wet side and it’s always been good!
A dough scraper is great to lift and transfer your scones to the baking sheet (especially if they’re on the damp side). But a spatula with a thin edge can also help you transfer them.
Can I use another flour instead of the white whole wheat? I like white whole wheat flour because it has all the nutrition of regular whole wheat flour, but a lighter taste. But if you’d like to substitute all-purpose flour or regular whole wheat flour, either should work. Again, be ready to adjust the liquid/flour balance if needed.
Why don’t you glaze this scone? Some scones seem to call for a glaze while others feel better plain or topped with coarse sugar. With the rustic notes in this scone, I went with the sugar.
Cherry Maple Pecan Scones
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 Tablespoons butter ½ stick
- 2 eggs divided
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup cherries pitted and chopped
- 1/3 cup pecans chopped
- coarse sugar for decorating, optional
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a fork, pastry tool or food processor, until butter pieces are small and flour-coated. Mixture will resemble sandy crumbs.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, then remove 2-3 teaspoons. Set the smaller amount aside for later use to glaze the scones.
- Stir the maple syrup into the larger quantity of beaten egg. Pour into the dry mix and pulse or stir until just moistened.
- Gently mix in the cherries & pecans, then dump onto a floured surface to knead a couple times. If the mixture is too dry to hold together, add a little milk or water, a teaspoon at a time. If it's too wet to hold together, add some additional flour.
- Pat mixture into an approximately 6 x 6 inch square . Cut the square into four 3 x 3 inch pieces, then cut each of those on a diagonal to make 8 triangular scones. Transfer scones to a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray or lined with parchment.
- Beat a teaspoon of water into the reserved egg to make an egg wash. Brush each scone with some of the beaten egg, and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
- Bake at 400 F for 15 – 20 minutes until just golden and an inserted toothpick comes out dry.
- Serve warm or cold.
Updated from original, published on Jul 17, 2016
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