I’m a creature of habit. I return to the same restaurant over and over again, and despite wanting to change my order, I choose the same meal each time. It takes a combination between impulse and guilt to get me to change dishes.
I can be the same with baking. My family has made the same coffee cake for every Christmas morning since my mom was little, and similarly, I make the same recipes to pumpkin cheddar muffins over and over again, if I know they’re good.
Since moving to Park Slope in Brooklyn, I’ve had to find a new brunch place. Though I try to cook most meals at home, there’s something special about sitting down in a sun-filled restaurant with bottomless coffee on Saturday or Sunday morning (or late afternoon, as the reality often is…)
Rosewater, the brunch spot my boyfriend and I have found near our apartment, is outstanding. And it has even encouraged me to branch out a little bit with my ordering. The menu changes frequently, forcing me outside my comfort zone.
Their pear scone is revelatory. Crunchy with a dusting of demerara sugar, rich from butter and heavy cream, I can’t help but order one each time I visit.
I was inspired to make a version of their scone at home, but haven’t come very close yet. In the process of testing, I have made a scone that incorporates whole-wheat flour, that isn’t too sweet, and is perfect for a weekday breakfast. I’m still looking for that decadent, sweet, cakelike scone that will live up to Rosewater’s. In the meantime, I accomplished my goal of incorporate more whole grain flours into my baked goods.
I’m glad I branched out from my normal recipes. I have found a winner.
Barely adapted from Karen DeMasco’s The Craft of Baking
Servings: Makes 12 scones
1 3/4 cups whole-wheat flour, plus more for rolling
1 tbsp plus 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
6 tbsp (3 ounces) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup diced, peeled pear(from about 1/2 large pear)
1 cup plus 2 tbsp heavy cream
1 tbsp Demerara sugar
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, baking powder, granulated sugar, and salt. Add the butter. Put the bowl in the freezer for 5 minutes. The beat the mixture on low speed until the butter is broken up into pebble-sized pieces, about 3 minutes.
2. Add the pear pieces, and mix on low speed just until they are evenly distributed, about 5 seconds. Then add 1 cup of the cream and mix just until the dough comes together. Using your hands, knead the mixture in the bowl to bring the dough completely together.
3. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll it into a 7-inch round, about 3/4-inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 12 wedges, like pieces of pie.
4. Place the pieces on a baking sheet, spacing them 1/2-inch apart. Cover with the plastic wrap and freeze for 15 minutes or chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. (Unbaked scones, wrapped well, can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 weeks.) Frozen scones can be baked immediately. Add 5 minutes to the baking time.
5. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
6. Brush the scones with the remaining 2 tablespoons cream and sprinkle with the Demerara sugar. Bake the scones, rotating the baking sheet once, until they are golden on the edges and on the bottom and are firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
7. The scones are best served the day they're made, but they will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.