In what just might be the ultimate breakfast treat, salty bacon is paired with sweet maple sugar and orange zest, then baked into light and tender pastries. Saving the bacon fat to use in the dough adds flakiness and an extra savory note to these irresistible glazed scones.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Add the bacon to a medium nonstick skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until rendered, crisp and deep golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Carefully pour 1/4 cup of the bacon fat into a small heatproof bowl and place in the freezer to cool quickly and solidify, 10 to 15 minutes.
Whisk together the flour, 1/2 cup maple sugar, the baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Zest the orange and add it to the bowl.
Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice from one half into a small bowl. Reserve the other half for later. Add 1/2 cup milk to the bowl with the orange juice. (The milk will curdle.)
Add the butter and chilled bacon fat to the flour mixture and gently rub it with your hands or use a pastry blender until it is coarse and mealy (you don't want to work it in completely). Fold in all but 1/4 cup of the reserved bacon.
Whisk the egg into the curdled milk mixture. Add to the flour and butter mixture, folding until the dough just comes together.
On a lightly floured surface, press the dough into a 3/4-inch-thick round. Cut the disk crosswise into 8 wedges and place on the prepared baking sheet.
Squeeze the juice of the remaining orange half into a small bowl. Brush the top of each scone with the juice and sprinkle with the reserved bacon. Bake until the tops are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the remaining 1 cup maple sugar and 2 tablespoons milk in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave to warm slightly and just melt the sugar, about 30 seconds. Stir again, then let cool slightly (the mixture will thicken as it cools). Dip the tops of the scones in the glaze and place on a wire rack to harden, about 30 minutes.
When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)