Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sour Cherry Orange Scones

I promise next week that I will prepare something that unrelated to bread or made with a crust, even though they are ranked amongst my favorite things to prepare.  September always feels like it should be the start of a new year, since strategies  at work change, kids are back to school and the sunsets a little earlier.  It is also a time when I go from having a bowl of cereal, yogurt or a protein shake for breakfast (on the weekdays) to having some type of toast or baked bread.  This weeks early morning break will be some type of egg dish for my protein and a Sour Cherry Orange Scone.  Now I have made this recipe a number of ways over the years, but I find that the slight addition of whole-wheat pastry flour still give the scone the light and airy texture that is distinct to this quick bread.  Although you can add more whole-wheat pastry, flour the texture will not be the same.  I recommend that no more than a 1/3 of the amount of flour should be whole-wheat pastry flour.

Sour Cherry Scones


1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1 stick) butter
1 cup re-hydrated sour cherries*
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg white slightly beaten
powdered sugar (optional)


Preheat oven to 375F
Place flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl; stir to mix well.
In a smaller bowl combine cherries, orange zest, egg yolk and buttermilk

Cut butter into flour mixture until mixture looks like fine granules
Add wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir until a soft dough is forms
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and give about 10-12 kneads
Form dough into a ball and press gently into a circle 3/4 inches thick.

Cut into desired wedges

With a spatula, carefully transfer the wedges onto a parchment paper lined sheet pan 
Brush tops of dough with egg white; sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired
Bake 18-22 minutes, until medium brown.
Cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes


Side Notes

One of the most challenging things about writing this blog is formulating recipes that anyone can follow.  Having devoted most of my life to the pursuit of flavor and the perfection of culinary technique, I sometimes get caught up in details that the average person would never consider.  If you do like details, you’ll like Side Notes.  It will give you more detail and explanation as well as alternative ingredients that can be used in the recipes.  

*Re-hydrate cherries placing in a small pot add half brandy and half water just enough to cover, zest of a half orange and a half of stick of cinnamon.  Bring to a boil, let simmer for about 7 minutes, remove from heat and allow cooling.  If you use dried cherries as much as I do, you may want to do a large batch, put them in a glass jar and store them in the refrigerator.  That way they are ready when you need them.  Re-hydrating many dried fruits for baking makes a significant difference in flavor.

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