I recently received a bag of dried cherries as a gift from a family member. I knew right away one recipe I’d be making with them: Cherry Scones. Perfect for a brunch date or book club meeting, cherry scones are a lovely and tasty treat to enjoy with a hot mug full of your favorite beverage. Since this recipe is made with dried cherries, it can be enjoyed any time of year. The dried cherries will need to be plumped; just soak them in hot water for about 30 minutes. I threw mine in a Tupperware container filled with enough water to cover the cherries, and microwaved it covered for about 3 minutes. Then I let them soak until I was ready to add them to the recipe. I would recommend doing this first before prepping the other ingredients. When I was ready to add the cherries, I strained the water out and added them to my food processor.
Along with doing some research on scones, I often came across references to serve scones with clotted cream. If you’re not familiar with British society much, you’ve probably never heard of ‘clotted cream’. I admit it- I’d certainly never heard of it! I grew up in New Mexico, enough said :0) So it turns out to be a thickened cream, so it will stay put on your tart, scone, pie or whatever your heart may desire. It’s simply made with heavy cream that sits in a warm oven overnight. In the morning you’ll find a layer of thickened cream floating on top of something like half and half. After cooling in the fridge, this layer is skimmed off and into a serving dish. That’s it!
Now the trick is to find the right heavy cream. It turns out you can’t use any heavy cream. Back in the day (I’m talking a few hundred years ago) folks would use fresh cream strait from the cow and leave it out (covered) in the hot sun all day. They new nothing of pasteurizing milk, which helps kill germs but also alters the protein structure enough that any ultra-pasteurized cream won’t create clotted cream. You’ll need to find cream that hasn’t been ultra-pasteurized. I found mine at Whole Foods that had been ‘batch pasteurized’ but didn’t say ‘Ultra-pasteurized’. It worked like a charm and was really delicious on my cherry scones! I had to include it in my recipe. Plus what a handy dandy thing to know, in case for whatever reason you want whipped cream but don’t have a machine handy to do it for you.
Note: This clotted cream stuff is delicate! What do I mean? Don’t stir it, or it will instantly turn into butter. Seriously, three turns with a fork and my whole batch was thickened to something rather icky looking. Good thing I had already taken the lovely photos above!
- 2 cups of heavy cream that has NOT been ultra-pasturized
- 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
- 3 1/2 Tablespoons of granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Baking Powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes and chilled
- 2/3 plus 1 Tablespoon heavy cream
- 1/2 cup dried cherries plumped
- 1 Tablespoon orange zest
- The night before you plan on making your scones, fill a medium sized baking dish with heavy cream to about 1 1/2 inches deep. Place in the oven uncovered and set your oven to heat to 180 degrees. Leave the cream in the oven at this temperature overnight (or for about 8 to 10 hours). In the morning the cream will have a yellow ‘skin’ (this is normal).
- Remove the baking dish and let cool on the counter for at least 30 minutes before placing in the fridge, covered, to chill while you move on to the scones recipe. Cream should chill for at least 1 hour.
- When cream is chilled, gently scoop the thickened top layer into a container. The light milk/cream liquid that is left can be used for creamer in drinks. Do Not vigorously stir the clotted cream or it will over thicken and become dry and clumpy. If you want to stir it up a bit, do it slowly!
- Place all dry ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to completely mix them together. Sprinkle butter cubes over the flour mixture and process until the butter pieces are about the size of a small pea.
- Drizzle the cream over the mixture and add the cherries and zest. Process for about 10 to 20 seconds, until the dough comes together and the cherries are finely chopped.
- Empty dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and form dough into a rectangle about 1 and 1/2 inches thick. Cut into triangles, separate each piece about an inch apart and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- While the dough is chilling, move your oven rack to the middle position and preheat your oven to 375 degrees. When the dough is chilled, remove from the fridge and brush with cream. Sprinkle sugar over the cream. Place the cookie sheet with parchment paper and dough on top into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until edges are slightly golden. Remove and let cool on a wire rack. Serve with butter or clotted cream.
- Category: Bread
- Cuisine: English
- Serving Size: 1 scone
- Calories: 207
- Sugar: 13.9
- Sodium: 244.3
- Fat: 5.8
- Saturated Fat: 3.5
- Carbohydrates: 35.9
- Fiber: 1
- Protein: 2.9
- Cholesterol: 15.7
Keywords: Scones, British Baking, cherries, clotted cream, cherry scones
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