Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sour Cherry Jubilee

I love sour cherries. Which is funny, since I don't much care for cherry pie or cherry preserves -- the two most common ends that sour cherries are known to meet. My sour cherries, like scrumptious, glistening jewels, are destined for greater things than pie.

Most recently, shrubs -- just before booting up the laptop I whipped up a batch with said cherries + brown sugar + apple cider vinegar that will ferment into mouth-watering deliciousness over the coming days -- but last night might have been the creme de la creme of sour cherry usage thus far. I'm talkin' scones. And not just any scones. The kind one's boyfriend writes specifically to thank one for the next day. And I quote: "My goodness these are some fine scones. Love that they are soft. And the cherries and walnuts make a fine pair." Just a little something I whipped up for dessert while I drafted the weekly newsletter for the Suitland farmers' market at 10:30 at night....

I wish I could claim that it was my original recipe, but it's not. My cousin Sonia has been raving about the cooking blog Chocolate and Zucchini for years. Last night, I tried yet another winning recipe -- slightly adapted to accommodate the quart of sour cherries I'd picked up at the 14&U farmers' market last weekend. And with some lemon zest. And vanilla. And, okay, maybe it's kind of a new recipe after all, but it was inspired by the C&Z blog.

Sour Cherry and Walnut Scones
  • 1 2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 TBSP sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 TBSP butter, chilled
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 TBSP whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • a handful of chopped walnuts
  • ¼-½ cup sour cherries, pits removed

DirectionsPreheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Dice the butter and blend it into the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry cutter, until no visible lump of butter remains.

Add the yogurt, milk, vanilla, and lemon zest. Mix in the nuts and cherries. Use your hands to quickly blend them in until the dough forms a ball. Handle the dough as lightly as you can. (Avoid over-mixing, or the scones will become tough!)

On a floured surface, pat the dough into a flattish round, about 1-inch thick. Cut into eight wedges with a knife or a pastry cutter.

Place the wedges on the prepared baking sheet, giving them a little space to expand. Bake for 15 minutes (or longer, if your oven stinks like mine does), until the top of the scones is set and lightly golden. Cool on a wire rack.

What's that you say? Why, yes, I do frequent a number of farmers' markets these days. Between working with various markets in the area and teaching cooking at a middle school summer camp, I seem to have fallen way behind on blogging in recent weeks. So much for summer being the slow season.

Thanks for coming back to see me, dear readers, and please accept this stellar scone recipe as a sign that I have not forgotten you. You may forget all about me when you're lost in the bliss of eating all eight of them yourself. Yes, you'd better make a double batch.

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