What’s the most versatile baked good? Something you can eat for breakfast, a tea time snack, with a fall soup or as dessert (if you’re in a pinch)? A pastry just sweet enough to keep you coming back for more… and more… and more. Yup–the almighty scone.
I like to eat these spiced pear scones slathered with butter, with a hot cup of tea and a good book by my side.
They are super moist, have a perfect crumb and don’t go down like a hockey puck (unfortunately I think we’ve all had at least one of those). The creamy, rich base stands up to whatever is mixed in and so far I’ve used cherries, berries and pears. The flakes of frozen disbursed butter cause distinct layers, creating steam pockets as the scones rise in the oven. And all of the mess happens in one bowl, which is often enough to motivate me to get my butt off the couch.
And because it’s fall, I added warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. The mascarpone cheese is sooooo creamy and delicious it adds a much needed element of richness. Not a fan of mascarpone? Full fat yogurt or sour cream are welcome substitutions. And if you’re in the mood for a savory version, these are great with cubes of roasted butternut squash and fresh sage (yum).
If you haven’t noticed yet, this recipe is SO versatile and forgiving that you can add anything… so get to it! You’ll have me to thank.
Spiced Pear Scones
Yields 8 large scones, or 16 minis.
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1 large egg
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp fresh ground ginger
1 1/2 cups cubed pears (around 5-6 small, 3-4 large)
1 stick of frozen unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
Turbinado cinnamon sugar, for garnish
Pre-heat oven to 400 and line baking sheet pan with parchment paper.
Beat mascarpone and egg in a large measuring cup until blended well.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices together in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
Chop semi-ripe pears into cubes, until reaching 1 1/2 cups. Add to the flour mixture and stir gently just to cover.
Using a coarse-sized cheese grater, grate frozen butter directly into flour-pear mixture. Toss gently into the dough so the butter shreds are well distributed.
Add mascarpone egg mixture into the bowl. Mix the dough with a rubber spatula. Add a few tablespoons of heavy cream if your dough isn’t wet enough (but you don’t want it too wet that it becomes sticky). Switch to hands and kneed the dough against the side of the bowl until the mixture comes together.
Dump dough round onto the baking sheet and flatten out until it’s around 1″ thick. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 equal pieces. Separate each scone by at least an inch. You also have the option of cutting each scone in half to make 16 smaller scones.
Brush with heavy cream and sprinkle with turbinado cinnamon sugar. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes and transfer to a baking rack. Store in an air tight container for up to 3 days, but they’re best right out of the oven with a schmear of butter!