Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sour Cherry Almond Oatmeal Scones

It's finally time for the last (and in my opinion best) recipe from the one I made last weekend. These scones were so good they disappeared before the weekend even ended, which is pretty good when you have a pile of biscuits and other scones.

I picked up these dried Montmorency sour cherries from Costco quite a while ago and have been slowly nibbling on them, but had yet to find somewhere to use them. I figured that a scone would be a great place to use some, but I wasn't quite sure what to pair the cherries with. After a bit of searching through recipe books and other food blogs I noticed that almonds were a common pairing and decided to add some sliced almonds to my recipe. Not being satisfied with just that I searched a little more and thought that a bit of cinnamon would also help create a nice balance. With my idea and base recipe in hand I plunged ahead.

As you can see below, this recipe used the food processor again and as in the last scone recipe you can use a pastry blender, knives, or your hands to prepare the dough, but I recommend the food processor method if you have one.

The most notable difference in these scones from the last ones is the addition of oatmeal which helps to lock in a bit of moisture, add a little extra bite, and also have a really nice flavour when toasted and baked.

Scones always come together quickly and that is one reason I love them. It is also very important that this occurs because if you work them too much they turn into the generic grocery store variety that are dry and tough.

And here is the finished product coming out of the oven. These scones tended to have a really nice crust which made them all the better.

Because these scones are a bit tart they don't work well with tart jams like raspberry. I liked them best plain or with a little honey on them. I hope you will try making some and see how good they are for yourself.

Sour Cherry Almond Oatmeal Scones
Based on a recipe from Baking Illustrated

1 1/4 cups (3 3/4 oz) old-fashioned rolled oats or quick oats
1/4 cup sliced almonds or chopped skinless almonds

1/4 cup whole milk (add a little cream to your milk if you don't have whole milk)
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 large egg

1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (2 1/3 oz) sugar, plus 1 tbsp for sprinkling
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

10 tbsp (5 oz) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes

1/2 cup dried sour cherries, chopped

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread the oats and almonds on a baking sheet and toast them for 7 to 9 minutes once the oven has warmed, until they are lightly brown and fragrant. Cool baking sheet on a wire rack.

Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees and a baking sheet with parchment paper.

When the oats have cooled, set aside 2 tbsp.

2. Whisk the milk, cream, and egg in a large measuring cup until incorporated; set aside 1 tbsp for glazing.

3. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until combined, about four 1-second pulses. Scatted the cold butter over the dry ingredients and process until the mixture resembles course cornmeal, twelve to fourteen 1-second pulses. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and stir in the oats, almonds, and cherries. Fold the liquid ingredients into the dry with a rubber spatula until large clumps form. Use your hands or press the dough with the spatula in the bowl until the dough becomes a cohesive mass.

4. Dust the work surface well with reserved oats, turn the dough out onto the work surface, and dust the top with the remaining oats. Pat the dough into a 7-inch circle approximately 1 inch thick. Cut the circle into 8 wedges with a dough scraper or chef's knife and set onto parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the scones with the milk mixture and sprinkle them with the remaining 1 tbsp of sugar. Bake until golden brown 13 to 14 minutes; cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack 5 minutes; then remove scones to a wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes (although I doubt I waited this long). Serve.



Brilynn said...

I love cherries in all forms. Whenever I buy the dried ones I usually have to restrain myself or else I eat them all before they've made it into any baked goods.
Your scones look great!

kita said...

Made these with fresh cherries today with a friend; they turned out delicious!