MAPLE DROP SCONES

RECIPE BY ROBIN BERGER

Maple Scones
Photograph by Carole Topalian

These scones celebrate Vermont’s first spring crop: maple syrup. Scones have always been a breakfast favorite in my house, easy enough to bake even without having had any coffee yet. However, these maple drop scones can even be made the night before, because the maple syrup helps them retain their tender crumb without drying out.

I spent two weeks baking several variations of these scones before I found the balance I was looking for. By the final batch I began to fear my family would grow tired of them and refuse to eat them for months. But after eating the last scone my 7-year-old glared at the now-empty baking tray, complaining that there were none left.

It is rare to find any baked good that can be coveted by my picky children after eating it several times a day for two weeks!

The maple in these is admittedly subtle; I think the scones are a balance between sweet and rich with a slight nutty flavor from the wheat and an elusive taste from the maple syrup.

2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour or white whole-wheat
1 cup unbleached white flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
⅓ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
¾ cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into tablespoon-size chunks
1¼ cup heavy cream
¼ cup grade B maple syrup
1 egg

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Pulse the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor to mix. Add the cold butter and pulse the food processor until the mixture is broken into coarse crumbs with no large pieces of butter. Add the heavy cream, maple syrup and egg to the dry ingredients and pulse again until the dough is mixed and comes together. Use a light hand when mixing in the wet ingredients; if you mix the dough too much, the scones will be tough.
  3. Scoop out the dough onto 2 half-sheet pans, using a commercial scooper, leaving 1½ inches between scones. Use anywhere from a #16 (5½ tablespoons) to #30 (2½ tablespoons) scooper.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on size, or until some of the scones are toasty brown around the edge.

Note: If you want a more obvious maple flavor, replace the sugar with another ¼ cup maple syrup, and reduce the amount of heavy cream by 2 tablespoons.


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