Friday, March 30, 2012

Caramel Pear Scones

Not doing so great. Visited the dr this morning to change my blood pressure medication - I'm having a minor allergic reaction to it and my blood pressure refuses to stablize. Dr wants me to go on a more extreme diet than I am currently doing because I'm not losing weight. I haven't been that good with looking at my diet as a tool for weight loss lately because I wanted to focus on it being healthy and I can only focus on so much at a time. She's also very disapproving of my using MSG instead of salt. She doesn't want me to use either. GRR - it's tough when you get older and you start developing health conditions that refuse to go away. So I'll take the weight loss more seriously especially since we are finally getting signs of spring.
Of course, this all leads me to guilt over pizza last night at my dad's. He likes to have us over and this time he wanted to pick up some Little Caesar's pizza.
I made these scones on Sunday. We vacuum sealed some and put them in the freezer. We're trying to experiment with preservation so I can do big baking on the weekend and stretch it out over a period of time without it rotting.
These scones are amazing. I subbed out the all-purpose flour for about a half n half mixture of oat flour and whole white wheat. I used applesauce instead of the butter but kept the 1/3 cup of sugar - mixing white sugar with molasses. I might try these with just molasses next time because they are really sweet. I had some leftover butterscotch sauce from my mom and opted to use that instead of making caramel sauce. The flavor is amazing and the sauce adds a sealing coat to the scones keeping them super moist. It's not really scones because I associate a more dry quality with them but these are amazing. The chopped pears create little wet pockets that are wonderful. However, do not leave these on your counter while you finish them up - the moisture leads to quick souring. I've been grateful we got them into the fridge with some in the freezer.
*Note - mine had no nuts, ran out of walnuts at some point and forgot to add them to the list. And I didn't peel the pears.

Caramel-Pear Scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, chilled, cut up
2 to 3 pears (1 lb.), peeled, chopped (1/2 inch) (about 2 1/3 cups)
1 egg
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk, divided
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat oven to 425ºF. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in large bowl. With pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in 6 tablespoons butter until mixture resembles large peas. Stir in pears. Beat egg and 1/2 cup of the milk in small bowl; stir into flour mixture until moistened. (Mixture should form soft ball. If too wet, add 2 to 3 tablespoons flour. If too dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons milk.) On lightly floured surface, roll or press dough into 11-inch round 3/4 inch thick; cut into 8 wedges. Carefully lift wedges out with floured spatula; place on baking sheet. Brush with remaining 1 tablespoon milk; sprinkle with walnuts. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Cool. Meanwhile, heat 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup butter in small saucepan over medium heat until sugar is melted. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Stir in 2 tablespoons milk; return to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Drizzle over scones.

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