Cherry-Almond Scones


This combo is amazing, but you can stir almost anything into this rich and delicate dough.
TIME 20 to 30 minutes
MAKES 8 or 10 scones
2 cups all-purpose or cake flour, or more as needed, plus more for shaping
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into ½-inch slices
1 egg
½ cup cream, or more as needed, plus more for brushing
⅓ cup dried cherries
⅓ cup sliced almonds


Method
1 Heat the oven to 450°F. Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a large bowl. Add the butter and press it into the flour mixture, breaking it into tiny pieces with your fingers until it looks like coarse meal.

2 Stir in the egg and ½ cup cream. The mixture should form a slightly sticky dough. If it’s too sticky, add a little flour, but very little; it should still stick a little to your hands. If it’s too dry, add more cream, 1 tablespoon at a time.

3 Sprinkle 2 tablespoons flour on a work surface and turn out the dough. Sprinkle the cherries and almonds over it and knead only a few times to incorporate the fruit and nuts. If the dough is very sticky, add 1 to 2 tablespoons flour, but no more.

4 Press the dough into a ¾-inch-thick circle and cut across the diameter into 8 or 10 wedges.

5 Brush the top of each scone with a bit of cream, sprinkle with a little of the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, and transfer them one by one to an ungreased baking sheet with a spatula, leaving at least 1 inch between them. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, until the scones are golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool a bit. Serve right away if possible, or at least the same day.

Variations
  • 5 Other Knead-Ins for Scones. Instead of the cherries and almonds, try up to ½ cup of any of these

1 Currants (this is classic)
2 Poppy seeds
3 Chopped dried apricots
4 Chocolate chips or chunks
5 Grated cheddar or Parmesan cheese (omit the sugar from the recipe)

Tips
  • As with Buttermilk Biscuits, using cake flour in this recipe will give you a supertender and flaky crumb, but the dough will be a little more delicate and tricky to handle.
  • In Britain (where scones originated) they’re served with clotted cream, which can be hard to find here. Try using the creamy Italian cheese called mascarpone or sour cream—or just go with butter. And jam, of course.

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