Nice to meet you–have a scone. These delicious, crumbly gems are the result of my somewhat impulsive decision to purchase 4 pounds of nectarines on a whim. That’s a whopping six dollars’ worth of nectarines, in case you were wondering.
They came home with me in a large, deliciously fragrant box, and I warned my boyfriend not to touch them. This is because, when they’re in season, I have a habit of eating nectarines multiple times daily. Also, peaches. I love the flavor of both fruits so much, I rarely bake with them because I typically eat every last one we have in stock before I even have the chance to think of a recipe.
This time, though, I knew I had enough nectarines on hand to at least try to be creative. And with hints of the wafting, toasty comforts of autumn these past few weeks, it seemed only natural to combine some brown butter and warm spices to ground the bright flavor of the fruit. And so, these delightful scones came into existence. In truth, they were more than I had even imagined. Perhaps that’s melodramatic, but let me explain: the dough has a great crumb without being overly dry, the spice is both present and subtle, and those heavenly nectarines provide pops of juicy, floral goodness.
Since the flavor profiles are similar, you could easily substitute peaches in this recipe, as well. Rest assured, I will do so…if there is ever a time that I have not already devoured them, of course.
Spiced Brown Butter Nectarine Scones
Makes 6-8 scones
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
¾ cup sour cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 not overly ripe nectarines, peeled and diced
splash of whole milk
Prepare ahead: Place the stick of butter in a pan on medium-high heat. Melt the butter entirely until it turns a brown-ish color. Pour the brown butter into a container (remember to scrape the flavorful brown bits from the pan!) and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
To Bake: Preheat oven to 375. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. Dice the chilled brown butter into small cubes and add to dry ingredients. Mix with hands, squeezing the dough as you work with it to incorporate the butter and produce a moist, crumbly mixture. In a separate bowl, stir together sour cream and vanilla until completely combined. Add sour cream mixture to dry ingredients, stirring and folding to combine. Fold in nectarines. Dough will likely still be crumbly at this point, and that’s okay. Transfer dough to a flat, floured surface. Sprinkle more flour on top of dough and knead and fold about 3-4 four times, until dough is moist and combined. Mould dough into a round, about 1 inch thick. Cut circle into 6-8 wedges. Transfer wedges to baking sheet, about 2 inches apart from one another. Whisk egg and milk together in a separate bowl, then gently brush each scone with egg wash before sprinkling each with additional granulated sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack. Scones are best served the day they were baked.