Pecan Pie Scones: A Tea Time Delight

Pecan pie scones are a delectable fusion of two classic favorites: the comforting, buttery richness of scones and the nutty, caramel sweetness of pecan pie.

These delightful treats are perfect for tea time, bringing together the best elements of both desserts in a way that’s easy to make and even easier to enjoy.

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In this comprehensive article, we’ll delve into the history of scones and pecan pie, explore the essential ingredients and step-by-step preparation of pecan pie scones, discuss variations, and provide tips for perfecting this delicious treat.

The History of Scones and Pecan Pie

Scones: A British Tradition

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Scones are a quintessential part of British culture, often enjoyed with afternoon tea. They originated in Scotland and have been a staple in British baking since the early 16th century. Traditionally made with oats and griddle-cooked, scones have evolved to include various types of flour and baking methods.

They are typically round or triangular and can be sweet or savory. Classic sweet scones are often served with clotted cream and jam, while savory versions might include cheese or herbs.

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Pecan Pie: An American Classic

Pecan pie is a Southern American dessert that has become synonymous with comfort and holiday gatherings. Its origins date back to the late 19th century, with recipes appearing in Texas cookbooks as early as the 1890s.

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The pie features a rich filling made from eggs, butter, and sugar, often enhanced with corn syrup or molasses, and is generously studded with pecans. It’s typically baked in a pastry crust and served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Essential Ingredients for Pecan Pie Scones

Creating the perfect pecan pie scones requires a blend of high-quality ingredients that capture the essence of both scones and pecan pie. Here are the key components:

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For the Scones:

  1. All-Purpose Flour: Provides the base for the scone dough.
  2. Baking Powder: Ensures the scones rise properly.
  3. Salt: Enhances the overall flavor.
  4. Unsalted Butter: Adds richness and flakiness to the scones. It should be very cold to achieve the desired texture.
  5. Granulated Sugar: Adds a touch of sweetness to the dough.
  6. Egg: Helps bind the ingredients together and adds richness.
  7. Heavy Cream: Contributes to the tender, moist texture of the scones.
  8. Vanilla Extract: Adds a fragrant flavor to the dough.

For the Pecan Pie Filling:

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  1. Pecans: The star ingredient, providing a nutty crunch.
  2. Brown Sugar: Adds sweetness and a deep, caramel-like flavor.
  3. Butter: Contributes richness and helps bind the filling.
  4. Corn Syrup or Maple Syrup: Adds sweetness and a sticky, pie-like texture.
  5. Egg: Helps set the filling.
  6. Vanilla Extract: Enhances the overall flavor of the filling.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Pecan Pie Scones

Follow this detailed guide to create pecan pie scones that are both visually stunning and delicious.

1. Prepare the Pecan Pie Filling

Ingredients:

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  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup or maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Melt the Butter: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the Sugar and Syrup: Stir in the brown sugar and corn syrup (or maple syrup) until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is smooth.
  3. Cook the Filling: Remove from heat and let cool slightly. In a small bowl, whisk the egg and vanilla extract together, then slowly whisk into the sugar mixture.
  4. Add the Pecans: Stir in the chopped pecans until evenly coated. Set the filling aside to cool and thicken while you prepare the scone dough.
2. Prepare the Scone Dough

Ingredients:

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  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Mix the Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
  2. Cut in the Butter: Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs with pea-sized pieces of butter.
  3. Combine Wet Ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, heavy cream, and vanilla extract.
  4. Mix Wet and Dry Ingredients: Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. The dough should be slightly sticky but manageable.
3. Assemble the Scones

Instructions:

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  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Roll Out the Dough: On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle about 1/2-inch thick.
  3. Add the Filling: Spread the cooled pecan pie filling evenly over half of the dough.
  4. Fold the Dough: Fold the other half of the dough over the filling, pressing the edges gently to seal.
  5. Cut the Scones: Using a sharp knife or a dough cutter, cut the dough into squares or triangles.
  6. Transfer to Baking Sheet: Place the scones on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
4. Bake the Scones

Instructions:

  1. Brush with Cream: Brush the tops of the scones with a little heavy cream to help them brown nicely.
  2. Bake: Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the scones are golden brown and cooked through.
  3. Cool: Remove from the oven and let the scones cool on a wire rack.
5. Optional Glaze

For an extra touch of sweetness, you can add a glaze to the scones.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk or cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

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  1. Mix the Glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk or cream, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  2. Drizzle the Glaze: Drizzle the glaze over the cooled scones using a spoon or a piping bag.

Tips for Perfect Pecan Pie Scones

  1. Use Cold Butter: Ensuring the butter is very cold helps create a flaky texture in the scones.
  2. Do Not Overmix: Overmixing the dough can result in tough scones. Mix until just combined for the best texture.
  3. Chill the Dough: If the dough becomes too warm while working with it, chill it in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes before baking.
  4. Space the Scones: Place the scones on the baking sheet with enough space between them to allow for even baking.
  5. Check for Doneness: Scones should be golden brown on top and firm to the touch. If they seem underdone, give them a few more minutes in the oven.

Variations of Pecan Pie Scones

While the classic pecan pie scone is delicious on its own, you can experiment with different variations to add unique flavors and textures.

1. Chocolate Chip Pecan Scones: Add 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips to the dough for a chocolatey twist.

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2. Maple Pecan Scones: Substitute the granulated sugar in the dough with maple sugar and add a teaspoon of maple extract for a deeper maple flavor.

3. Cinnamon Pecan Scones: Add 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the dough for a warm, spiced flavor.

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4. Caramel Pecan Scones: Drizzle the scones with caramel sauce instead of the powdered sugar glaze for a rich, gooey finish.

5. Cranberry Pecan Scones: Add 1/2 cup of dried cranberries to the dough for a tart contrast to the sweet pecan filling.

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Serving Suggestions

Pecan pie scones are versatile and can be enjoyed in various ways:

1. With Clotted Cream: Serve warm scones with a dollop of clotted cream for a traditional British tea experience.

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2. With Butter: A pat of butter melting over a warm scone enhances its rich, buttery flavor.

3. With Fresh Fruit: Fresh berries or sliced fruit can add a refreshing contrast to the sweet scones.

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4. With Tea or Coffee: Pair your scones with a hot cup of tea or coffee for a delightful tea time or breakfast treat.

5. With Ice Cream: For a decadent dessert, serve scones with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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Conclusion

Pecan pie scones are a delightful fusion of two beloved desserts, bringing the buttery richness of scones together with the sweet, nutty goodness of pecan pie. By following the detailed instructions and tips provided in this article, you can create a batch of pecan pie scones that are perfect for any occasion, from a cozy afternoon tea to a special breakfast treat.

Whether you stick to the classic recipe or experiment with variations, the key to successful pecan pie scones lies in using high-quality ingredients and mastering the techniques for creating a perfect dough and filling. So, gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and embark on a culinary journey to create a dessert that combines the best of both worlds. Happy baking!

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