Maple Nut and Pear Scones with Maple Pear Butter
For the maple pear butter:
1 large very ripe Bartlett pear, peeled, cored and mashed
1/4 C. soft butter (no substitutions)
1 1/2 T. pure maple syrup
For the scones:
3 C. flour
1/3 C. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
3/4 C. butter, cut into pieces
3/4 C. buttermilk
1 t. pure maple extract
1 C. peeled and diced Bartlett pears (about 1 1/2 medium pears)
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1/2 T. sugar (for topping)
To make maple pear butter, simmer mashed pear in a small saucepan over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until liquid has evaporated. (Pear will begin to stick to pan at this point.) Let cool slightly and stir in butter and maple syrup. Let stand at room temperature to thicken. (Butter can be prepared ahead, if desired, and stored in the refrigerator.)
To prepare scones, preheat oven to 400° F.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until butter is the size of peas (do not overblend). Stir in buttermilk, maple extract, pears and pecans. Turn mixture onto a lightly floured board and knead several times until dough is smooth.
Press into a 10-inch circle and cut into 10 wedges with a sharp knife. Place wedges 1-inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle lightly with ½ tablespoon sugar. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.
Serve warm with Maple Pear Butter.
Makes 10 scones.