Friday, July 13, 2012

Cherry Cobbler Scones

I must admit I haven't been doing all that much in the kitchen recently.  I've been enjoying my time outside pulling up weeds and shoveling compost.  I had been eying this blog post by Joy the Baker and wishing that I had some peaches.  I did not have any peaches.  I did however have a colander full of cherries.  And plenty of buttermilk and butter.  I think that you could easily make these with any stone fruit.  They were great with the cherries but I think they would be even better with peaches or nectarines. 
Before we start let's get a closer look at those cherries!

Cherry Cobbler Scones
Adapted from Joy the Baker's Peach Cobbler Scones

Makes 8 BIG scones

3 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup COLD unsalted butter cut into cubes
1 egg - beaten
3/4 cup cold buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups (approximate) pitted and quartered cherries - if it seems like too much to you just throw them on your yogurt or in a smoothie, if you want more by all means pit and quarter away!
1/4 cup buttermilk (for brushing the dough)
2 tbls sugar and 3/4 tsp cinnamon mixed

Preheat oven to 400.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  I used one and wish I had used two.  Had I followed directions and used two I wouldn't have had to play Tetris with the scones making sure they had enough room to "puff up."  Use two.

In a large mixing bowl sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Use a pastry blender or two forks to cut the butter into the flour mixture.  You could use your hands but risk the butter getting too soft.  You want to see chunks of butter in the dough.  Chunks the size of small peas are perfect!

In another bowl or measuring cup combine the beaten egg, 3/4 cup buttermilk and the vanilla.

Add the liquid to the flour and stir just enough to combine.  You are going to kneed the dough so if you still have floury bits that haven't mixed in don't worry.  It will all come together when you kneed the dough.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board, kneed fifteen times.  If the butter has started to really soften wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it cool in the fridge for about fifteen minutes.  Shape the dough into a disk and roll out on a well floured surface.  You want the dough to be as rectangular as you can get it and a little less that 1/2 an inch thick.

Brush half of the dough with buttermilk and arrange the cherries in one layer.

Cover the cherries with half of the cinnamon sugar.

Fold the dough carefully over the cherries.  Press it together and gently shape the dough into a rectangle, or as close as you can get.

Use a knife or a pastry scraper to cut the dough into eight pieces.

Use the pastry scraper, or a spatula, to move the dough onto the baking sheets.  Be sure to leave plenty of space around each scone.  They will spread and puff up quite a bit.  If the dough feels really soft at this point move the baking sheets to the fridge and let the scones cool for about 20 minutes.

Brush the tops with the rest of the buttermilk and sprinkle on the rest of the cinnamon sugar.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes.  Check at 15 and if they don't seem done check again at 18.  I ended up baking mine for 20 minutes, some of the cherry pieces were a little on the thick side.  The thinner the pieces of fruit the more quickly the center will cook.

Remove from the oven and let the scones rest on the baking sheets for a few minutes.  Transfer to cooling racks and let them cool for fifteen minutes.

They are really best as soon as they have cooled a bit but are still warm.  If you have any left over be sure to warm them up in the toaster oven!


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