A Porky Problem – Bacon Scones with Figs and Black Pepper
I’ll admit, I may have a bacon problem. But I am undeniably in much company in my predilection for this crispy porcine delight. I am grateful that bacon has made its way into the main stream and even more excited that it has become accepted as a common element in sweet dishes like ice cream and chocolate bars. When I came across these the other day on a new blog obsession called “Bitchin Camero” I was certain I needed to try them, ASAP. To sweeten the case for baking these delightful goodies, I had a nice package of thick-cut bacon from Trader Joes sitting in my refrigerator begging to be used.
Over the last few years, a few too many experiences trying to render splattering and spluttering bacon in a skillet on the stove has instilled me with a slight aversion towards the traditional pan frying method of cooking bacon strips. So this time, I opted to cook up the entire batch in the oven, the process is quite simple. Set the oven to 375 and place a cooling rack over a foil lined jelly roll pan. Lay the bacon flat on the cooling rack and bake for approximately 12-17 minutes or until crisp. Remove the pan from the oven and leave on the counter to cool. The bacon produced from this method can be used for a vast variety of uses, it can easily be recrisped in a pan or microwave for breakfast, or simply warmed to room temp to be used in sandwiches or salads.
This use was one of the best and most unique uses for amazing precooked bacon that I have ever found. These scones are just off the charts delicious for breakfast. The combination of the crispy and smoky bacon with the sweet and fragrant notes of figs and punch of spicy pepper play against each other beautifully in these scones. It is amazing that in all of my years of cooking, and in all of my attempts at baking, I have never tried my hands at making scones before. I guess I had always assumed that a great scone’s delicate buttery texture was difficult to reproduce at home but, fortunately, this recipe proved my fears to be false.
I highly recommend using a food processor to mix the butter into the flour in this recipe. The food processor will allow you to cut the butter into the pastry in a very controlled manner and in a very short period of time, this keeps the dough from becoming overworked and tough. When the dough comes out of the food processor it will be very sticky. I highly suggest that you flour your hands and work surface well before turning out the dough and gently pressing it into a circle. These scones will disappear quickly – If you plan to have extras left over – you may want to hide some. Bake and enjoy the bacon-y smell of success!
7 Slices Thick Cut Slab Bacon Cooked According to the Method Above, Chopped into 1/2 Inch Lardons
1 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 1/2 TSP Baking Powder
3/4 TSP Baking Soda
1/2 TSP Kosher Salt
1 TSP Freshly Cracked Pepper
3/4 Cup Slices Mission Figs
1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter
2/3 Cup Buttermilk
Place flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pepper and kosher salt in a food processor and pulse to mix. Place about 3/4 the bacon and 3/4 the figs in the food processor and pulse once or twice. Grate butter into the food processor on a cheese grater, add buttermilk and pulse until moistened and dough begins to come together, approximately 8 1-to-2 second pulses.
Turn dough out onto a well floured surface and pat into a 9 inch circle. Cut into 8 wedges. Spray the tops very lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle on remaining bacon and fig pieces. Sprinkle some raw sugar over the top and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. These can chill in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place in the oven and bake for 16-18 minutes or until the scones are golden brown. Serve warm or at room temp and enjoy!