I make scones quite often on the weekends. It’s a nice diversion from oatmeal or granola and it makes the house smell like a bakery which is as close the the heavenly ideal as I can get. This Saturday morning, I had scones on the brain and a few Asian pears from our CSA that I needed to use up. Now pears and me have a long history and to put it mildly, I hate them. Growing up we had 2 large and bountiful pear trees and either everyone in our family (but me) was snacking on them out of hand or my mom was in the kitchen baking up pear crisps like they were going out of style. We even had such an overflow of the fruit, that my dad suggested that my brother and I went around to the neighbours selling pears door to door. It was a humiliating experience.
I don’t look to kindly to pears and I wasn’t happy about receiving them in my CSA. But I hate ignoring something until it goes bad, so I decided that I could dice them up (nixing their mealy texture) and their inherent (gag-inducing) sweetness would bring only goodness to a scone, right? Indeed.
To put it gently, these scones rocked. I was a bit worried that not only was using pears, but that that I didn’t have any eggs. But I plowed through and tweaked my usual recipe with pretty spectacular results. They didn’t puff up like my usual scones, but otherwise, I couldn’t tell a difference. And the pear? It worked beautifully with the ginger and cardamom. And just my luck, we received even more Asian pears in this week’s CSA. Looks like there’s going to be another Saturday morning scone in our future!
pear & ginger vegan scone
2 c flour
3 t baking powder
1 T sugar
1/4 t ground cardamom
1/4 c Earth Balance margarine*
2 asian pears, diced
3 T diced candied ginger
1 T vanilla extract
3/4 c non-dairy milk (I used almond) + 1 T for topping
2 T raw or demerara sugar for topping
Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and sugar. Cut in the margarine and blend it into the flour so that it resembles oats. Stir in pears and ginger. Add the vanilla to the milk and pour into flour mixture. Use a wooden spoon to combine and then knead the mixture 4 or 5 times with your hands until it comes together.
Place dough onto parchment paper and pat into a round shape. Cut into 8 triangles, like a pie and place parchment paper and scones onto a cookie sheet. Brush with remaining tablespoon of milk and sprinkle with the demerara sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops of the scones are golden. Serve warm with your favorite jam or a smear of buttery spread.
*Please note that if you do choose to make these with unsalted butter instead of Earth Balance, please throw in 1/4 teaspoon of salt. I find most vegan margarines too salty and got rid of the salt for this version.