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Sunday, September 05, 2010

Cherry Almond Cream Scones

recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated
makes 8 regular scones or 24 mini scones
prep time: 15 min / cook time: 12-15 min

2 c unbleached all-purposed flour
* preferably a low-protein brand such as Gold Medal or Pillsbury
1 tbsp baking powder
4 tbsp sugar, divided
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/2 c dried cherries, chopped
1/3 c sliced almonds
3/4 cup + 1 tbsp heavy cream, divided
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
* vanilla extract can be substituted for almond extract if you like a stronger almond flavor

** If you want a less cake-like scone, use 5 tbsp of butter and 1 c heavy cream

• Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425˚F.
• Place flour, baking powder, 3 tbsp sugar and salt in a large bowl and whisk
* Or in a work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, pulse 6 times.
• If making by hand, use two knices, a pastry blender or your fingertips and quickly cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few slightly larger butter lumps. Stir in cherries and almonds. Transfer dough to a large bowl.
* If using a food processor, remove cover and distribute butter evenly over dry ingredients. Cover and pulse 12 times, each pulse lasting 1 second. Add cherries and almonds, pulse 1 more time. Transfer dough to a large bowl.
• Stir in beaten egg, 3/4 cup heavy cream and vanilla/almond extract with rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.
• Transfer dough and all dry, floury bits to countertop and knead dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, slightly sticky ball, 5-10 seconds. Cut scones into wedges.
• Place wedges on ungreased baking sheet.
* Baking sheet can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 hours.
• Brush tops of scones with 1 tbsp heavy cream and then sprinkle with remaining 1 tbsp sugar just before baking.
• Bake until scone tops are light brown, 12-15 minutes (regular sized). Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at rooom temperature.

• I didn't find this recipe to have a lot of flavor. You might want to add lemon or orange zest to perk it up.
• I felt the recipe could use a bit more sugar, perhaps 1 extra tablespoon.
• If possible, taste your dried fruit before hand. The cherries I purchased were not sweet so I didn't taste the cherry flavor.




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