Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Royal Sour Cherry Scones

Do you like the title?  I thought of it all by myself.  However, nice as it sounds, it's not terribly descriptive.  If I wanted it to be a descriptive the title it should have read :  Earl Grey Orange Sour Cherry White Chocolate Scones. Or maybe it Sour Cherry White Chocolate Earl Grey Orange Scones is better? Either way it's so long it almost seems pretentious.  Why Royal ?  Partly because I didn't think anyone would want to make something called Pretentious Scones and also  Earl = royalty, royalty = complicated titles, complicated title = scones.

It's math, really.

Call them what you want, they are fantastic and worth every flamboyant little step.

I got the idea for these scones by combining a few recipes I found here on the interwebs.  I would be content to just completely copy someone else's recipe, except I have this need to make a recipe work with whatever I've got in the house at the moment. When I decide to make something it must be accomplished immediately...post-haste if you will.  I'm sorry to be redundant, but that phrase completes me right now.  

The recipe was a combo of this, this and this, and what I came up with is below.

They were marvelous. They smelled marvelous.  They tasted marvelous.  Come to think of it, marvelous is also a word that completes me.  Especially when said like this. The 80s were good, weren't they?

 I say the were marvelous because I ate a shocking number of them once they were done, as did my children. But I have saved just enough to accompany breakfast on Valentines day.  It's just that I'm so loving I can't help myself but serve heart shaped food all day long.

The Earl Grey adds a certain je ne sais quoi.  Although I haven't made them without it to see if it is in fact more je ne sais than quoi.  The orange also adds a bit of je ne sais quoi as well.

I'm going to stop talking about phrases that complete me now.

Here is the recipe - with pictures from my phone!  My next post will be titled Blogging with Excellence and Without Redundancies. 

Royal Sour Cherry Scones
aka Pretentious Scones
Oven Temp:  400 ° F
Yield:  36  (2 ½” –ish)
Prep time:  15-20 minutes (how fast can you chop cherries?)
Bake Time:  15 – 20 minutes                                                                                                                
1 ½ cups buttermilk.   Sub with heavy cream if you have it, or soured milk
4 earl grey tea bags
1 ¼ cups white flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Zest of 1 – 2 oranges – about 1 tbsp-ish.  Be exact.
½ cup sugar
1 ½ cups whole, pitted sour cherries (fresh or frozen or 1 ¼  cups of dried sour cherries would work too)
4 eggs – 1 separated
1 cup white chocolate chips
2 cups icing sugar
Milk or heavy cream to thin (I start with 2 tbsp)

On low heat warm buttermilk – do not leave the room to check your email or update your status on twitter.  If you do the buttermilk will overheat and separate and look all nasty. You just want to warm it up, not boil it, or even make it hot – just warm.  It probably would work fine in the recipe, but it might look so gross you throw it out and start over and pay better attention the second time.  I say might.  You can also substitute the word will.

This might be the second picture of warmed buttermilk
Remove from heat and toss in the tea bags. Now you can ignore it while you get every thing else ready.

Mix together flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt

Add cubed butter and pulse in mixer/food processer/by hand with pastry blender till the butter looks pea-sized in your shrivelled and wrinkly hands.  Or maybe that’s just my hands.

I prefer to do the rest of the scone recipe by hand because I’m quite convinced that over-mixing them makes them tough and dry and very un-marvellous.  If you too want marvellous scones, please do the same.  Also, remember I don’t know anything.

Chop cherries cheerfully.  Set aside.

Stop ignoring your tea soaked buttermilk.  Give it a good stir, and then squeeze the tea bags to bring the infusion to its full je ne sais quoi.   Discard tea bags.  As if you needed me to tell you that.

Separate one egg.  Add the yolk to your buttermilk and reserve the egg white for later.

Crack three eggs into your buttermilk mixture.

Whisk eggs into earl grey infused buttermilk until it looks lovely.
This counts as lovely in my books
Make a well in the dry ingredients.  Add the pretentious buttermilk mixture.

Fold into dry ingredients.  

When almost mixed, add chopped cherries and orange zest (I would show you a picture of zesting an orange except I pulled my zest from the freezer, ergo there are no pictures). I will add, whenever you do zest,  be careful to NOT get to the pith (white stuff under the zest ) that's bitter and won't help these Royal Lovelies) 

Fold in until perfectly combined. The dough will be a bit sticky – somewhere between thick pancake batter and bread dough.

Roll or pat out onto floured surface, adding flour as needed to de-stick your hands or rolling pin. Dough should be about ½ inch thick.  

I felt like making them heart shaped because a girl can decide to do that if she wants.  The cookie cutter I used is about 2 ½“ across at the widest point.

This picture is not upside down, I promise.  I bake better than I take pictures.

Place on baking sheet.  I only have one rimless baking sheet so I just turned my bar pan over and baked these on the bottom – you can do that too if you want!

The Canadian in me wants to apologize for every out of focus picture.  Sorry.  It's part of my heritage.

Beat the remaining egg white with a fork or small whisk till frothy. Use a pastry brush to cover the scones with the reserved egg white.

Bake till done and not a minute less.  Edges will be brown and the centre will be springy to the touch. Mine took about 17 minutes. Your house now smells fabulous.  You’re welcome.

Let rest on pan for a few minutes before moving to a cooling rack

Melt chocolate chips on double boiler.  Make sure water isn’t touching the double boiler.  Also make sure you don’t add the milk at this point or you might have trouble and have to add stuff like shortening and oil to your chocolate to save it.  I say might…

Whisk in icing sugar once chocolate is melted.  

Add milk to smooth out and make a perfect glaze. I wanted it to be quite thick because I was going to pipe loving heart shapes on the scones.  You could add a bit more milk if you felt like make a "dunkable" glaze.  Whatever, spell-check, dunkable is totally a word.

Pour thick glaze into leftover honey container that you save for just such an occasion.  A ziplock bag, or an icing bag, or drizzling with a spoon would also work. if you use a honey container there will be a lot the doesn't quite make it out onto the scones and you will be forced to scrape it out when you are done and eat it.  Sometimes life is about sacrifices.

Drizzle.  Let it set.  Or eat right away, your choice.


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