I feel like I've taken a bit of a baking hiatus. Instead of baking 3-4 times a week, I've been limping along, squeezing in TWD's treat of the week and maybe one more thing on the weekends. It's just that when I get home from the Y at 7pm, all I want to do is make dinner, eat, watch Food Network / Greek / Grey's / Gossip Girl. Yeah, I'm one of those people. I loves me some trash tv :)
In the interest of keeping the ball rolling though, I've attempted to work on my baking this week. I began my odyssey into this month's Daring Baker challenge, made ice cream, and now these. Cherry scones. I've been wanting to make these, but my regular grocery began taking out their bulk section early this year for some inexplicable reason. Dried cherries = really expensive unless you can get them in bulk, so I held off. It turns out that my grocery store is going out of business, so I've moved on to a new one. With a bigger, better bulk section. Woowoo! So today I splurged and bought a lot of cherries. Originally, they were going to end up in a granola or snack mix, but I reconsidered.
I ended up using the cream scone recipe from Dorie's Baking book, subbing cherries for the currants and grating the butter to make it incorporate better (per Chris Kimball of Cook's Illustrated fame :-P). They're flaky, not too sweet, and tender. I think they've become my favorite scone recipe!
Cream Scones (from Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home to Yours)
- 1 large egg
- 2/3 cup cold heavy cream
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
- 3/4 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
- Stir the egg and cream together.
- Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Drop in the butter and, using your fingers, toss to coat the pieces of butter with flour. Quickly, working with your fingertips (my favorite method) or a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly. You'll have pea-size pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pieces the size of everything in between—and that's just right.
- Pour the egg and cream over the dry ingredients and stir with a fork just until the dough, which will be wet and sticky, comes together. Don't overdo it. [The recipe didn't say when to add the currants, so based on the instructions in another recipe I added them at this point.] Still in the bowl, gently knead the dough by hand, or turn it with a rubber spatula 8 to 10 times.
- Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Divide it in half. Working with one piece at a time, pat the dough into a rough circle that's about 5 inches in diameter, cut it into 6 wedges and place it on the baking sheet. [At this point, the scones can be frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight. Don't defrost before baking—just add about 2 minutes to the baking time.]
- Bake the scones for 20 to 22 minutes, or until their tops are golden and firmish. Transfer them to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before serving, or wait for them to cool to room temperature.
Storing: These keep longer than baking-powder biscuits, but they should still be eaten the same day they're made. If you want to save them, wrap them airtight as soon as they cool to room temperature and freeze them for up to 2 months. If you've frozen the scones, reheat them in a 350-degree F oven.