peach praline scones
You know that bowl of fresh peaches sitting on your counter? You spent time picking out just the right specimens, didn’t you? They were blemish-free, showcased a colorful hue, and teased you with a heavy perfumed scent.
You brought them home, arranged them in a bowl and awaited the onslaught. You figured the kids would eat them for a snack. You’d slip one in your bag or briefcase for later, right?
Except the fruit-frenzy never came. It was overlooked — and now it’s past its prime. I know. I understand.
You see, I bought fresh peaches at the farmer’s market recently and despite my best intentions, they sat in the fruit bowl for several days. Untouched. Looking sad. Eventually, the skin wrinkled and the peaches — which were perfect when I bought them — became mottled with dark spots,
even a few moldy blotches. Not very appetizing.
Most people would shrug and toss the fruit, vowing “not to let it go to waste” next time. But this is when you must get creative.
No, I’m not suggesting that you eat the mold — eeewwww. But I’ll bet at least half of it is salvageable. At least mine was.
Using a sharp knife, I peeled off the skin, trimmed away the bad parts and cut the remaining fruit into small chunks — ending up with about a cup and a half of chopped fresh peaches (pictured below).
Then I looked for something to do with them. There wasn’t enough fruit for a pie, but I thought muffins or cake dotted with fresh peach would be good. (Remember those tart lemon and cranberry scones from Christmastime?) So I turned to one of my favorite resources, The Foster’s Market Cookbook.
Sara Foster has a bevy of tried and true recipes, especially her breakfast fare. I like that she gives a basic recipe, includes a few variations but also leaves room for your own flair and embellishment. Hence, these peach praline scones.
They were a bit more involved than my normal effort, but weren’t difficult to make, and the results were stellar! Especially hot from the oven.
Warm and buttery, with bites of ripe peach and pops of sweet, nutty pralines dotted throughout the crumb — these scones are the epitome of summer in the South.
The recipe makes two large rounds — each with eight slices — so this is perfect for brunch entertaining.
If you’re not having a party, wrap them in cellophane in individual slices and freeze them in freezer paper — for when you want a quick snack or a special breakfast.
Just be sure to rewarm them in the oven — they’re much better that way.
My mother said I was bad for making these Peach Praline Scones. My father said I was very good. You decide.
- 1 cup light brown sugar firmly packed
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup pecans
- 5 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 sticks cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2"- 3/4" pieces
- 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups peaches peeled and pitted, chopped
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons demerara sugar
Place brown sugar, milk butter and vanilla in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the sugar is dissolved and butter is melted. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.
Add pecans and continue to boil slowly for about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
Drop pecan mixture by spoonfuls onto parchment paper - so that they form little rounds of pecan and melted sugar that spread out on the paper.
Cool the pralines completely before using -- about 20-30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of a large (7 cups or greater) food processor fitted with the metal blade to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. Pulse 10-12 times and transfer to a large bowl to continue making the dough.
Roughly chop the cooled pralines and add to the flour mixture.
Add 1 1/4 cups buttermilk and mix until just combined and dough begins to stick together. Add the peaches and fold the dough over the fruit several times until the peaches and pralines are evenly distributed throughout the dough. Be careful not to overwork the dough.
Divide the dough into two equal portions.
Lightly flour a work surface and turn one portion of the dough out onto it. Flatten the dough with lightly floured gads and form a 1 1/2" thick disc. Transfer the dough carefully to one of the baking sheets. Repeat for the remaining dough.
Use a long, thin, sharp knife (I used a carving knife) to cut into eight equal portions.
Whisk the egg and milk together in a small bowl to make the egg wash. Lightly brush the scones with egg wash and sprinkle each with one tablespoon demerara sugar.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
If you don't have a food processor, you can cut the butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or two knives. I've done it both ways and it's not hard, it just takes a little elbow grease.
Scones can be frozen in plastic wrap and freezer paper and will keep for up to a month. To reheat, defrost the scones to room temperature and set the oven to 300 degrees. Warm for about 10 minutes and serve.