Maple Nut & Pear Scones

Delicate pears, pecans and maple flavor make these scones really special. Our makeover of this tender, flaky breakfast pastry uses reduced-fat cream cheese, canola oil and just a touch of butter to replace 1 1/2 sticks of butter. The addition of rolled oats and whole-wheat pastry flour boosts fiber and enhances the nutty flavor. For more fruit intensity, serve with pear butter.
Maple Nut & Pear Scones
Maple Nut & Pear Scones

PREP TIME

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minutes

TOTAL TIME

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minutes

SERVINGS

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servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

Ingredients

  • 1

    cup whole-wheat pastry flour

  • 1

    cup all-purpose flour

  • 1

    cup old-fashioned rolled oats

  • 1/4

    cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, divided

  • 2

    teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2

    teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4

    teaspoon salt

  • 1

    teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 4

    tablespoons chilled reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), cut into small pieces (2 ounces)

  • 2

    tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces

  • 1/4

    cup canola oil

  • 1

    cup diced peeled pear, preferably Bartlett (1 large)

  • 1/2

    cup chopped pecans, or walnuts, divided

  • 3/4

    cup low-fat buttermilk, or equivalent buttermilk powder

  • 1

    teaspoon maple extract, (see Note) or vanilla extract

  • 1

    egg lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for glaze

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with cooking spray. 2. Combine whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, oats, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl; whisk to blend. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, cut or rub cream cheese and butter into the dry ingredients. Add oil and toss with a fork to coat. Add pear and 1/4 cup nuts; toss to coat. Mix buttermilk and maple (or vanilla) extract in a measuring cup and add just enough to the dry ingredients, stirring with a fork, until the dough clumps together. (It will be sticky.) 3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times; do not overwork it. Divide the dough in half and pat each piece into a 7 1/2-inch circle. Cut each circle into 6 wedges and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops with the egg glaze and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup nuts, pressing lightly. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar. 4. Bake the scones until golden and firm to the touch, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving. Tips: Note: Maple extract, which can be purchased in the spice section of the supermarket, contains the essential flavors of maple syrup, usually diluted with alcohol. Maple syrup cannot be used as a substitute. Products labeled "maple flavoring" usually contain imitation or artificial ingredients. MAKE AHEAD TIP: The scones are best served the day they are made. Wrap any leftovers individually, place in a plastic bag or container and freeze for up to 1 month. For a quick weekday breakfast, wrap a frozen scone in a paper towel and microwave on Defrost for 1 to 2 minutes.

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