I made these golden quickbreads several weeks ago when I noticed a blackening banana hiding in our cupboard. Too small for a loaf of banana bread, which I felt tired of anyway, I decided to turn it into scones. I’d never had a banana scone before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I mashed the fruit to a pulp and mixed it with some heavy cream for the liquid portion of the recipe. I used brown sugar instead of the usual white, some whole grain flour for nuttiness, added toasted pecans for texture, and, feeling risqué, splashed in a slug of dark rum for added flavor.
I made these scones mini sized, just for cheek, and, while I usually prefer my scones toasted with a bit of creme fraiche and a mug of tea, they made a charming little take-anywhere snack just as they were.
Rum soaked golden raisins or currants would be a nice addition, as would chopped, bittersweet chocolate. Try adding orange zest, cinnamon, cardamom or minced, candied ginger to switch em up. I plan to make these again and again as a handy way of using up that last banana that always seems to get away; until I tire of them, of course.
Banana, Brown Sugar and Pecan Scones
Makes 12 dainty scones
1 cup whole wheat (or spelt) flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup dark brown or muscovado sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, in 1/2″ dice
1 large, very ripe banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup heavy cream, plus 1 tablespoon for brushing the scones
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
1/3 cup pecans, toasted and chopped, plus 12 pecan halves
1 or 2 tablespoons coarse sugar, such as turbinado or demerara
Preheat the oven to 425º with a rack positioned in the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Rub in the butter with your fingers until the mixture is the texture of coarse meal with some pea-sized butter chunks remaining. Toss in the chopped pecans.
Mash the banana in a one-cup measure. Add the rum, then enough cream to make 1 cup total liquid. Stir to combine.
Add the liquid to the flour mixture, folding gently until the mixture just starts to clump together.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a 3/4 – 1 inch high square. Cut into 12 bars.
Place the scones on the sheet pans, brush the tops with the cream and sprinkle with the sugar. Press a pecan half into the top of each.
Bake, rotating the scones once, until puffed and golden, 15-20 minutes. Cool.
The scones will keep in an airtight container for a few days, or you can freeze them, tightly wrapped, for up to a couple months.