Cactus Pear Scones

Whenever our local grocery store has something weird and wonderful in the produce section, we have to try it. This is how we learned about dragon fruit, rambutan and lots of other yummy treats. Grocery shopping really can be an adventure!

So when I came across cactus pears this weekend, I couldn't resist. You've probably seen them in pictures of cactus in the desert. They're all covered with spines on a tough skin, which is why they're also called prickly pears. When you buy them in the store, though, they've already been cleaned and had the spines taken off.

To make these yummy scones, I adapted one of my favorite pear recipes to work with cactus pears. Note: If you don't like seeds in your food, this is not the recipe for you. If you don't mind them so much, read on!

For the scones -
4 cactus pear, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp butter, diced very small
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 egg

For the topping -
1/2 cup white chocolate chips (vanilla)
1 egg
2 Tbsp sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Quarter and peel each pear. Once you've quartered it, the skin should peel right off. If it doesn't, it's too ripe. Then dice the fruit into about 1-inch cubes.

3. Place the diced pear on the baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, until each piece is browned and dry. Don't over-bake or they will wither away to nothing. Move from oven to a cooling rack.

4. While pears are cooling, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixer bowl. Add pear, butter, cream and egg. Mix until well combined.

5. Flour your work surface and shape the dough into a circle about 10 inches across. Cut into eight triangles. On a new piece of parchment paper, arrange the triangles, leaving plenty of room between them to expand.

6. Evenly distribute the vanilla chips between the scones, pressing them into the top of the dough. Beat the egg and brush onto the tops of each, then sprinkle with sugar.

7. Bake the scones at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until they are browned and firm to the touch. Serve warm or at room temperature.


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