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Cherry Almond Scones

From Leslie Mackie's Macrina Bakery & Café Cookbook

Makes 8 to 10 round scones

½ cup dried tart cherries
½ cup whole almonds
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
1 egg
¾ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon pure almond extract
Egg wash made with 1 egg and 1 teaspoon water
¼ cup coarse raw sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place dried cherries in a small bowl and cover with warm water. Let soak for 10 minutes. Drain the plumped cherries, coarsely chop (check for pits), and set aside.


Place almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for approximately 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool, then coarsely chop and set aside. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Sift flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and baking soda into a medium bowl and toss with your hands to combine. Divide chilled butter into ¼-inch pieces and drop into a bowl of dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut butter into mixture until texture is coarse and crumbly. Add the chopped cherries and almonds and mix with a wooden spoon.

Combine egg, buttermilk, vanilla extract, and almond extract in a small bowl and mix with a whisk. Add to dry ingredients and mix gently with a wooden spoon just until dough comes together. Take care not to overmix the dough.

Coat your hands with flour and pull dough from bowl onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for a few minutes, folding and flattening it several times, until dough becomes moldable. Dust the work surface with a little more flour and roll dough out 1 inch thick.

Using a round biscuit cutter (about 3 inches across), cut 8 to 10 scones from the dough. Place scones on the prepared baking sheet, brush with egg wash, and sprinkle coarse raw sugar over the tops. Bake on center rack of oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let scones cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes.




(Updated: 10/21/08 SN)

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