I just love when summer finally arrives! Long sun-filled days that just beckon you to get outside and play, the farmer’s markets brimming with summer berries and fresh sweet corn, and warm summer nights that seem to last forever-I just love it!
Although I absolutely love when cherry season finally rolls around, I hate pitting cherries. It’s so messy! You inevitably will have red stained hands, flying pits and cherry juice everywhere. I always have to tell myself that the result will be worth the mess…and it usually is! Especially for these tender little scones. Of course you can always take the easy route and buy a bag of pre-pitted frozen cherries, but that’s just cheating. Embrace the mess, enjoy the short cherry season and bake up a batch of these fresh cherry scones for your loved ones.
Yield: 8 scones
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 cup diced cherries
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream, divided
1 teaspoon almond extract
For the Glaze:
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place flour, baking powder, 3 tablespoons sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process with six 1-second pulses.
Remove cover of food processor and sprinkle the butter evenly over the dry ingredients. Cover and process with 12 1-second pulses.
Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl.
Add 1 cup heavy cream and almond extract to flour mixture; fold with spatula until just combined. With rubber spatula, transfer dough to lightly floured work surface. With floured hands, knead dough 6 to 8 times, until it just holds together in ragged ball, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.
Roll dough into an approximate 12-inch square. Fold dough into thirds like a business letter, using bench scraper to release dough if it sticks to countertop. Lift short ends of dough and fold into thirds again to form approximate 4-inch square. Transfer dough to plate lightly dusted with flour and chill in freezer 5 minutes.
Transfer dough to floured work surface and roll into approximate 12-inch square again. Sprinkle cherries evenly over surface of dough, then press down so they are slightly embedded in dough. Using bench scraper, loosen dough from work surface. Roll dough, pressing to form tight log. Lay seam-side down and press log into 12 by 4-inch rectangle. Using sharp, floured knife, cut rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet.
Brush tops with 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar. Bake until tops and bottoms are golden brown, 18 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.
While the scones are cooling, make the glaze by mixing the confectioners sugar, milk and almond extract together until smooth. Drizzle over each scone and allow the icing to dry before serving.
Source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated’s Blueberry Scones
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