Scones are sort of like a sweetened version of biscuits. I used buttermilk to wet the dough, as you would for biscuits, but I then added dried cherries for sweetness. You don’t want the scones to be as sugary as French pastries, because scones are typically eaten with jam. I spent most of my childhood vacations in Great Britain, and what I remember most is how wonderful English breakfast and tea time food was. Between the wonderful tea selections, orange marmalade and scones, I can’t recall better breakfast fare anywhere else.
This weekend I felt like introducing my little 5-year-old munchkin to the scones I enjoyed in my childhood. She helped me measure everything, all the while proudly spelling out loud every single ingredient while nibbling on the extra dried cherries. She’s in kindergarten and is so eager to learn. Cooking with children is a great way to give them a little knowledge about food, while at the same time introducing them to spelling and a little bit of math. Teaching small children how to read and count should be kept fun and lighthearted, and I can’t think of a better way to do so.
1. Info for Buttermilk Cherry Scones
- Cook Time: unavailable
- Total Time: unavailable
- Servings: 12
- Calories: unavailable
2. Ingredients for Buttermilk Cherry Scones
- 3-½ cups flour (see tips)
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
- 1-¼ cups buttermilk
- 1/3 cup dried cherries
- 4 tablespoons Belgian pearl sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Reserve about 1 tablespoon of flour for rolling the dough on the pastry board.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar, cream of tartar and baking soda. Sift all the dry ingredients.
- Reserve about 1-½ tablespoons of buttermilk. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the egg with granulated sugar for about 5-6 minutes. You’ll get a pale, yellow foam and the texture of the eggs will be thicker.
- Dice 2 tablespoons of chilled butter and reserve in the refrigerator while preparing the dough.
- In the bowl, place the dry ingredients. Grate 4 tablespoons of butter over the bowl using a cheese grater. Mix the ingredients using a pastry cutter (if you don’t have one, the back of a fork works fine as well). Mix until barely blended and still crumbly. Incorporate the eggs and buttermilk. Finally, add the reserved chilled butter and the dried cherries to the scone mixture. Do NOT over-mix; otherwise the scones will have a dense texture.
- Sprinkle the reserved flour over a pastry board and transfer the scone dough. Using a rolling pin, even out the dough to about a 1-inch thickness. Create 10 disks using (3-1/16” diameter or 76 millimeters) biscuit cutters and form the last 2 disks with the remnants of dough (knead the dough as little as possible).
- Place the scones on a baking sheet, previously lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the reserved buttermilk over the scones. Sprinkle the top with pearl sugar.
- Bake for about 5 minutes at 375°F, then lower the heat to 350°F and bake for another 20-23 minutes. For a golden top, I broiled the scones for a minute. Transfer the scones to cooling racks.
- Serve warm with butter, fruit preserves or marmalade.
- Bon appétit!