Cranberry, Pear, Pecan Scones

Posted on: Saturday, October 1, 2011

With our mom’s family descending from Greece and our dad’s family descending from Ireland, it’s no surprise that our heritage is equally balanced with respect to our names. Marni is a variation on Mani, a region of southern Greece and home to our Yiayia’s side. Kara means “friend” in Gaelic. Fittingly, Marni went to Greece while Kara went to Ireland two years ago and have yet to swap trips. 

With the Celtics’ home around the corner and Irish pubs lining the neighboring streets, we often are engulfed in a sea of green t-shirts and reminded of Boston’s strong Irish spirit. We enjoy Black Velvets (half Guiness, half sparkling cider), Irish stews, any kind of potato, and our favorite, scones. Living in Cambridge last year, we would take weekend walks over to our favorite bakery, Petsi’s Pies to select one of their freshly baked scones and enjoy it with coffee on our stoop. Our “stoop sesh” consisted of catching up with friends, people watching, and indulging in these flaky wonders. We have been trying to perfect our scone recipe, and think this one comes pretty close. 

Cranberry, Pear, Pecan Scones

2 c all purpose flour 
1/4 c granulated sugar 
1 t baking powder 
1/2 t baking soda 
1/4 t salt 
1/2 t cinnamon 
1/2 c (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 c buttermilk
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 c dried cranberries
1 small pear (any kind, we used Green Anjou), peeled and chopped 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 c chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Incorporate the butter into the flour mixture with your hands until a coarse crumby mixture forms. While it’s messy, this step is worth it to guarantee flaky and moist scones. With a wooden spoon stir in the buttermilk and vanilla extract into the flour mixture and stir until the dough comes together. Do not over mix. Add the dried cranberries, pears, and pecans. Form the mixture into tennis sized balls, transfer onto a baking sheet, flatten slightly, and brush the tops with a little milk. 

Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Makes 5-7 scones.
The scones taste best straight from the oven. 

Feel free to spread with butter or your favorite jam, but we don’t think they need either! Also, have fun with the combination of flavors, keeping what’s seasonal in mind. In the fall, we use pears, apples and cranberries. In the summer, we use mixed berries and peaches. Dried fruits, coconut, ginger, mixed nuts and chocolate can be added anytime of the year.


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