The roasting not only intensifies the sweetness and flavor of the pears before they're folded into the scone dough, but it also reduces the moisture content of the fruit so you don't get a soggy dough or crumbling scone.
The fruit also keeps the scones fresher longer, so you can treat yourself to one or two hot out of the oven smeared with salted butter and enjoy them just as much the next day at room temperature served with a dollop of vanilla yogurt or lightly sweetened whipped cream.
How to Make Roasted Pear Scones
One of the great things about roasting the pears before adding them to the scone mixture is that even seemingly useless hard-as-a-rock pears are rendered soft and sweet through roasting.
If you've got a few pears sitting on your counter that never seem to ripen, pop them in the oven for thirty minutes or so and you may find that they aren't so bad after all.
I like to roast the pears ahead of time so they're nice and cool when I'm ready to start baking with them. If you add them to the dough while they're still hot, or even warm, they will melt the butter and you may end up with flat, hard scones instead of flaky, tender ones.
If you aren't a big pear fan, you could also make these with roasted peaches, apricots, nectarines, or apples. Just be sure to cut them in small pieces so you get delectable bursts of fruity flavor and texture in every bite.
I made these roasted pear scones with all-purpose flour, but they also work well with whole wheat. Just add less milk, maybe 1/3 cup instead of 1/2 cup, or your dough will be too wet. They also tend not to rise as well with whole wheat flour, but they'll still taste great.
I normally use white sugar in scones, but for these beauties, I used dark brown sugar because it complements pears so marvelously. If you like your scones sweet like a dessert, double the amount of sugar.
I also used maple extract instead of vanilla, and the smell as the scones were baking was downright heavenly. The combination of roasted pears, dark brown sugar, and rich maple extract is wondrous.
While you can make these scones without a topping of any sort, I like to fancy them up a bit. This time I chose a simple sugar crust, brushing each scone with beaten egg and sprinkling them with raw sugar before baking.
I love the shattering crunch of the sugar as I bite into my roasted pear scones. They would also be nice with a sheen of maple icing, and a drizzle of caramel sauce would not go amiss.
Once the scones are baked you can serve them with softened butter, whipped cream, vanilla yogurt, or even ice cream. They're also pretty great split in half and layered with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese.
If you're looking for other great scone recipes, try our Dark Chocolate Red Currant Scones, Red Velvet Scones with Cream Cheese Frosting, or Almond and Dried Cherry Scones.
Roasted pear scones go beautifully with a big mug of a nutty tea such as Oregon Breakfast black tea with hazelnut and orange, Caramel Almond black tea, or Toasted Nut Brulee, a lovely, warming oolong swirled with hazelnut, chestnut, almond, walnut, and vanilla.
Roasted Pear Scones
- 2 semi-hard pears
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- ½ teaspoons sea salt
- 4 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup butter, cut into pieces
- ½ cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon maple extract
- 1 tablespoon raw sugar (for dusting)
- 1 egg, beaten (to brush tops of scones)
Preheat oven to 400F.
Cover 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
Cut each pear into quarters and remove the core and stem. Place cut side up on one baking sheet and roast 20-30 minutes until tips begin to brown.
Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add butter and cut into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
In a small bowl, add milk, egg, and maple extract. Whisk well to combine. Add to flour mixture and stir gently with a fork until no flour is visible.
Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead gently 2-3 times, just enough to bring it together into a circle about 3/4-1-inch thick.
Cut dough into 2-3 inch rounds and place on a second baking sheet.
Brush tops of scones with beaten egg, dust with raw sugar, and bake for 12-15 minutes until scones have risen and tops are golden brown.
Let cool 5 minutes before serving.