Let’s face it. As much as we hate to admit it, Summer is winding down. Most fruit is at it’s peak this time of year. Ripe on the trees and vine and ready for the picking. Now may be the time of year that we tend to over do it by loading up on the bushel full. All with good intention of course.
But how many times have you looked into the fridge and eye spied fruit that needed to be used up immediately or it would have to be thrown out? . That’s what happened yesterday when I opened the fridge and saw cherries staring me dead in the face. Begging to be used before they saw the likes of the trash. This clearly isn’t a case of haste makes waste.
These needed to be used up within the next day or they would be joining last night’s dinner scraps. I thought about it long and hard and scanned the cabinets and pantry to see what would complement them, and low and behold I ran into my old friend Vanilla Bean. Hmmmm, cherries and vanilla? Sounds like a winner to me.
So what now? Muffins? Nah, totally overdone on Pinterest! Pancakes? Maybe, but just doesn’t seem right. Scones? Hmmmm. Truth is, I’ve only baked scones a few times in my kitchen career. Past times, they were so so, and not something that inspired me to make them again. Something inside told me if I were going to bake these, I needed to research how to bake the perfect scone. It would have to be so good that I want to keep coming back to it.
This is why I love YouTube. You can find just about anything you want on there short of killing and burying a dead body. Or maybe you can. I’m not sure. I don’t want to even search that. Sorry. Let’s get back on track. I found a great instructional video and decided to see if it would do what it promised.
Apparently, the secret is to keep the ingredients cold, including the butter, and folding the dough over on itself at least 4-5 times. Then chilling the dough again before baking. This helps build the light buttery layers. Could you spot the butter chunks in the dough? I feared working the dough so many times, might melt the butter. But it didn’t.
It worked! It really worked!
You can see the layers. It really makes all the difference.
These scones are perfect for a lazy summer Sunday morn. The cherries and vanilla bean flavors are in perfect unison in this scone. Like peas and carrots…except it’s cherries and vanilla.
- 1 Cup unbleached all purpose flour
- ½ Cup old fashioned oats (or another ½ cup flour)
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- ½ Tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅓-1/2 cup fresh, washed, dried, pitted sliced cherries
- 1 whole vanilla bean
- 4 Tablespoons cold butter
- ⅓ cup whole milk (if using oats, may require more milk)
- Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing:
- 1 Tbsp soft cream cheese
- 6 Tbsp confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp high quality vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp heavy cream
- Add dry ingredients to small food processor or high quality blender. Slice butter into ½ cubes and place in dry ingredients. Place food processor in freezer for 15 minutes.
- Mix milk and ½ egg and place in freezer as well. Keep cherries cold as well.
- Slice and scrape vanilla bean while waiting.
- Remove food processor after 15 minutes and pulse 9 times. Butter should be pea sized throughout. If not, pulse a few more times.
- Place mixture in large mixing bowl.
- Add cherries and vanilla bean scrapings. Mix lightly with spoon or clean hands.
- Pour in cold milk slowly. Do not add all at once. When mixture starts to come together as a dough remove on to well floured surface.
- Press into rectangle about ¾ inch thick.
- Fold over and make ¼ turn on counter. Reflour surface if needed.
- Repeat this process 4-5 times.
- Shape final dough into rectangle ¾ inch thick.
- Cut into triangles by cutting evenly down the middle of the dough.
- Now take each side and cut an X pattern.
- Place scones on baking sheet lined with parchment paper
- Place back in freezer for 15-20 minutes
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Mix up icing ingredients. Add milk slowly if too runny add more confectioners sugar if to thick add more heavy cream.
- Cover and place icing in fridge.
- Remove sones and bake about 20 minutes or until lightly brown.
- Cool on wire rack and drizzle with icing.