The maple syrup that I’ve been able to find here has generally been disappointing. Yes, it’s maple syrup, but I think it’s the equivalent of Grade A Light in North America. My favorite is U.S. Grade A Dark Amber because it has really strong maple flavor, which is perfect for baking. (Wikipedia breaks down maple syrup grades here.) So, as you can imagine, if you are visiting us from the States, you will be schlepping maple syrup with you. And again, apologies to those of you who have had maple syrup bottles break in your luggage on the way over. And yes, this has in fact happened TWICE. (We have some maple-scented books to prove it.)
These are my favorite scones on a chilly day. There’s something about maple, pecans and oatmeal that says autumn.
Maple Oatmeal Scones
adapted from Cooks Illustrated
makes about 12 triangular scones
1-1/2 cups (130g) regular oatmeal (not quick or instant, and not steel-cut)
1-1/2 cups (210g) AP flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup brown sugar (80g)
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup butter (165g), cold, cut into small squares
1/2 cup heavy cream (120ml)
1 large egg
1/2 cup chopped pecans (50g)
For the glaze:
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar (50g)
1/4 cup maple syrup (60ml)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). Spread the oatmeal and pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes. Remove and let cool to room temperature while you prepare the other ingredients. Remove 2 tablespoons of the oats for dusting your prep surface later.
- Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees F (230 C) and preheat.
- In a measuring cup, whisk together the cream and egg. Remove 1 tablespoon of the liquid for glazing, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder. Scatter the chunks of cold butter over the flour. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal.
- Stir in the oats mixture, then stir in the cream/egg mixture. Fold with a spatula until the dough clumps together into a mass.
- Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons reserved oats on a cutting board. Spread the dough out on the surface, patting it into an 8 x 10 inch rectangle (20 x 25 cm). Cut it in half lengthwise, and cut each half into 5-6 scones. Set the scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the scones with the reserved egg/cream liquid.
- Bake the scones for 12 minutes, until golden brown. Remove to a rack and cool to room temperature.
- Prepare the glaze: Whisk together the confectioner’s sugar and syrup. Using a spoon, drizzle the glaze over the scone. (The glaze will harden a bit in a few minutes.)