Sweet, tender dates and salty, crispy pancetta combine to make a scone that pleases the palate on so many levels.
Date & Pancetta Scones
- 4 ounces diced pancetta
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 5 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter diced
- 3/4 cup diced dates
- 3/4 cup buttermilk*
- 1 large egg yolk
Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a frying pan over medium heat, sauté pancetta until crispy, about 5 minutes.
Transfer pancetta to a paper towel lined plate to drain excess grease.
Mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
Combine dry ingredients using a pastry blender (or two forks) until butter is reduced to the size of grains of rice.
Add dates and pancetta to flour mixture, tossing gently.
Whisk buttermilk and egg yolk in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup or small bowl.
Add liquids to dry ingredients; mix until dough forms a ball.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface and press into an 8-inch round.
Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Cut into 8 wedges.
Transfer wedges to rimmed cookie sheet, preferably lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the scones are crusty on top and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Once upon a time, I always veered toward sweet at breakfast time. Pancakes with syrup? Yes, please. French toast topped with strawberries and whipped cream? Absolutely. Then about 15 or so years ago as I increased my personal fitness goals, my palate changed along with it. While I still do enjoy a good stack of pancakes, I need something savory aside it.
In this style of eating, I’m still glad to make a sweet breakfast treat, such as my Berry & White Chocolate Scones or Lazy Day Cinnamon Rolls. But like the aforementioned pancakes, I eat it with something savory, such as a scrambled egg.
However, it’s nice to have breakfast in one package, no need to add a side. That’s where these scones come in handy. They’ve got the perfect pairing of sweet and salty. Let’s talk about the two ingredients.
Dates- They are basically a sugar bomb. In fact, in a number of recipes, you can eliminate sugar and add dates instead. Along with bringing sweetness, dates provide a delightfully tender texture. They almost melt in your mouth.
Pancetta- This pork product provides all the salt you need. Once you’ve sautéed it until crisp, the salt level is amplified. Also, because it’s gotten some time in the frying pan, it provides a contrasting texture with its crispy nature.
Now you have a couple perfect pairings! Not only do you have salty and sweet, you also have tender and crispy. Could these scones be any more perfect? To my thinking, the answer is no. Just a cup of coffee, and you’re ready for breakfast happiness!
For another way to add dates into baked goods, give these Spiced Date Biscotti a try.