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!