I may have said this before, but pears aren’t my favorite fruit. I don’t mind them in a fruit cocktail, and I enjoy the occasional pear chunk in a salad, but I don’t go out of my way to work them into my diet. Especially when there are other, much tastier (in my opinion) fruits to enjoy. (Like strawberries. And blueberries. And peaches.)
Andy, however, couldn’t disagree more. There isn’t a fruit out there that he doesn’t love (pears included), so when his parents offered to bring us some fruit from their trees this past fall, he immediately said yes. We ate a lot of applesauce and apple crisp, and Andy put a considerable dent in the pears, but there’s only so much one person can do.
Just as the pears were becoming a fruit fly paradise, this recipe popped into my Google Reader, and I thought it had a lot of good things going for it. I mean, veggies taste better roasted, so it stands to reason that the pears would only improve after some time in the oven. Plus, cream AND butter AND chocolate? I’m in.
I prepped these on a Thursday evening and popped the entire cookie sheet in the freezer, covered in saran wrap, which meant I could quickly bake them the next night after work. And then, since I’m always using my friends as guinea pigs, I took them to dinner on Friday. Let’s just say that I didn’t bring any home.
Roasted Pear & Chocolate Scones
3 pears (about a pound), on the firm side*
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar, plus an extra 1 1/2 tablespoons for sprinkling
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus a pinch for egg wash
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 large eggs, divided
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel and core pears, then cut into one-inch chunks. Place pears on prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Roast until chunks are slightly brown and dried out. Remove from oven and set aside to cool to room temperature. If you’re planning on baking the scones immediately**, leave the oven on and put a clean sheet of parchment paper (I used my Silpat.) on your cookie sheet.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, 1/4 cup of sugar, baking powder and salt. Place the paddle attachment on the mixer, and add the roasted pears, butter, 1 egg and cream. Mix on low until just combined, being careful not to overmix. Add the chocolate chips and mix for just a few seconds more.
Turn the dough out on a well-floured counter and pat it into a circle. (Deb says six inches in diameter; mine was probably closer to eight.) Cut the circle into wedges (again, Deb said six; I did eight) and place the wedges on your baking sheet.
In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg with a pinch of salt and a little water. Brush the egg wash over the scones and sprinkle with reserved sugar. Bake until scones are golden, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Serve as soon as possible.
*As I stated earlier, my pears were on the verge of melting away, so they definitely weren’t “firmish,” as Deb’s recipe calls for. I tried to compensate for this by roasting them longer, and it worked OK, but if you have pears that aren’t on their last legs, they’ll work much better.
**You can freeze the completed scones before baking, and then just pull them out whenever you need a scone-fix. (Hello, convenience food!) I brushed mine with the egg wash before freezing, but I see that the original recipe calls for brushing with egg wash after freezing but before baking. Whoops. It’s your call. Whatever you decide, just add an extra minute or two to your baking time if you bake them directly from the freezer.
From Smitten Kitchen
Click HERE for a printable version!