Adapted from THE ESSENTIAL BAKER:
Excerpted From Carole Bloom's "The Essential Baker: The Comprehensive Guide to Baking with Chocolate, Fruit, Nuts, Spices, and Other Ingredients"
To order Carole's Book click through to: www.amazon.com
DRIED CHERRY AND ALMOND SCONES
Makes ten 3-inch round scones
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Food processor
- 2 1/2-inch plain round cutter
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper sheet or nonstick liner
- 1-inch wide natural bristle pastry brush
Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick liner.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup rolled oats (not quick cooking)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
Place the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and almonds in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to blend.
4 ounces (8 tablespoons, 1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled
Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the mixture in the food processor. Pulse until the butter is cut into very tiny pieces, about 30 seconds. The texture should be sandy with very tiny lumps throughout.
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
Add the dried cherries and pulse a few times to mix.
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 extra large egg at room temperature
Using a fork lightly beat the buttermilk and egg together in a liquid measuring cup. With the food processor running pour this mixture through the feed tube and process until the dough forms itself into a ball, about 30 seconds.
Dust a large piece of waxed or parchment paper with flour and turn the dough out onto it. Knead the dough briefly and form it into a large rectangle, approximately 7 x 10 inches and ½-inch thick. Use a 2 1/2-inch plain round cutter to cut out the scones. Cut straight down through the dough without twisting the cutter. Twisting will seal the edges and keep them from rising well. Transfer the scones to the lined baking sheet leaving at least an inch of space between them so they have room to expand as they bake.
Gather together any scraps, knead them briefly, and pat into a round. Use the cutter to cut out scones and place them on the baking sheet.
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Brush the top of each scone with cream taking care that it doesn't run down the sides and under the scones. If it does, wipe it up because it can cause the bottom of the scones to burn.
Lightly sprinkle the top of each scone with sugar. Bake the scones for 18 to 20 minutes, until light golden. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and cool completely on racks.
Store the scones in an airtight plastic container between layers of waxed paper or on a lined baking sheet tightly covered with aluminum foil at room temperature up to 4 days. To freeze up to 4 months wrap the container tightly in several layers of plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Use a large piece of masking tape and an indelible marker to label the contents. If frozen, defrost overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.
Making a Change
Replace the dried cherries with dried apricots, dried cranberries, figs, raisins or dates. Replace the almonds with walnuts, pecans, or macadamia nuts.