It’s cold! On weekends this time of year, I wake up hungry. Hungry and chilly, I wander bleary eyed into the kitchen. Indy sits next to me some mornings, on “his” kitchen rug patiently waiting for the back door to open so he can take care of his… *ahem* daily constitutional. I put the Keurig on and stand there waiting for coffee in my pajamas, fuzzy socks or slippers, rubbing my eyes thinking, “God I wish I had something to shove in my pie hole.” Usually… I also wake up lazy; too lazy to make something. But if I’m lucky I already have made something! For example, scones with caramel ginger pear jam & vanilla butter.
Jay is a huge fan of scones. So am I really, and for some reason I never make them. I should really make them more often. They’re ridiculously easy and delicious- requiring no mixing other than by hand, no special equipment. And also? They go with everything. Like the recipes I’m giving you today: caramel pear jam and vanilla butter.
Yes, I said vanilla butter. I’ll get to that in a sec.
And… caramel ginger pear jam. It is pear season, you know. Go getchu some gorgeous pears and do something. Ginger is so warming, and it gives an exotic kind of scent to the jam. But you can feel free to omit it and keep it just caramel pear, if you want. YES- YOU GUYS GET THREE RECIPES IN ONE POST TODAY. OMG AREN’T YOU LUCKY.
By the way- these scones are NOT just a vehicle to get vanilla butter and jam into your face hole. They’re buttery, flaky, and delicious. Totally great on their own. But also great with: marmalade, plain butter, clotted cream, crème fraîche, and just about any kind of jam or jelly you can imagine. They also can be totally changed up to suit you.
They really are easy too. I swear.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup granulated sugar (depending on how sweet you want ’em) + 1 tablespoon for topping
- 2/3 cup milk PLUS 3 tablespoons for topping
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Put flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and mix well. Add butter and cut in with a pastry blender or rub in with your fingers until the mixture is the texture of small pebbles. Add sugar; mix.
- Add the milk and stir/mash with a fork until dough forms. Form dough into a ball and turn smooth side up, placing it on a sheet of parchment. Pat or roll into a 6 – 8″ inch circle. Using a pizza cutter, cut circle into 6 or 8 wedges.
- Lift parchment and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Scoot scones slightly apart for crisp sides, keep ’em touching for softer edges. Brush with milk and sprinkle with extra tablespoon sugar.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until medium brown on the edges. Remove and let cool slightly. Serve warm with vanilla butter and caramel ginger pear jam.
- Store in a Ziplock or tupperware for 2-3 days. Warm slightly before serving again.
And the best part about these scones? You can play with them. Like I said before- they can be totally changed up. Add vanilla bean/extract and use heavy cream or yogurt instead of milk. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top instead of just sugar. Add chopped crystallized ginger, a teaspoon of orange zest and/or a handful of dried cranberries. Make a confectioner’s sugar glaze for on top or leave it as is. Lessen the sugar to 1/4 cup, or keep it 1/3 cup.
Now… the vanilla butter. This was inspired by something I saw on TV (Food Network, of course) and I had to try it. I lessened the amount of sugar in it drastically, however. I don’t think you need more than 2-3 tablespoons of sugar.
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- the caviar of one vanilla bean, scraped
- Add all ingredients to a bowl. Using a fork or a hand mixer on low, beat/mix until thoroughly combined.
- Scoop into small jar or ramekin (or pipe it in with a pastry bag & star shaped tip, if you’re fancy) and wrap with plastic or add a lid. Refrigerate until firm again. Remove from refrigerator 10 minutes before serving.
SUPER SMALL BATCH CARAMEL GINGER PEAR JAM (adapted from HeartBeet Kitchen)
Makes around 12 ounces; can be doubled
- 1 1/2 lbs. pears; half peeled, chopped coarsely
- 1 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 small piece of crystallized ginger, chopped finely
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Sterilize your jars and keep them hot. Set aside.
- Add the pears to a large saucepan along with the ginger & sugar. Stir. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Lower heat to a simmer and continue to stir, mashing with a potato masher or your wooden spoon every now and then, until pears soften and the entire thing is thicker, bubbling and syrupy. This will take around 45 minutes.
- Once you get there, add salt and lemon juice and stir to combine. Simmer for 2 more minutes.
- Ladle into clean, hot jars leaving 1/4″ headspace and process in a waterbath for 10 minutes. Remove from water and let sit for 24 hours on a clean dry tea towel. After 24 hours, check for seal. If any jars aren’t sealed, put in fridge for immediate use.
I got exactly 12 ounces of jam; but again like I said- it can be doubled. I wouldn’t do more than double it, however. And any kind of pears work. I used Anjou. Seckel, Bartlett, Bosc… whatever you have. You could even do half pears, half apples if that’s your thing. D’Anjou pears have a thicker skin, so you need to make sure you cook them down totally, or use an immersion blender right before putting it in the jars.
This jam works great with yogurt too, so it makes a fantastic parfait. Also great with oatmeal!
But if we’re talking scones… layer the scones with vanilla butter and jam while they’re still warm. Trust me. The way the butter melts into the scone and mixes with the jam… and it helps get your day started in a little gentler way than blasting Against Me! first thing.