Sour Cherry Pecan Scones

June 26, 2009


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Sometimes it' s fun to get stuck in a rut—especially when the rut involves lots of butter and nuts. A few weeks ago I made the bold claim that I' d found THE PERFECT SCONE RECIPE. This is a load of malarkey, not because the scones were anything less than perfect, but because it implies that there' s no longer a need to poke around for another option.


Maybe that' s your cup of tea. There' s definitely a lot of comfort to be had in discovering one solid, sure-fire strategy for a crowd-pleasing dish. That said, perfection can also come from the thrill of discovery: a new golden flake, another rich crumb, and still the old faithful melts-in-your-mouth flavor of a perfect scone.


I recently went to visit my parents for a week in Connecticut and discovered another good-looking scone recipe. While the house was quiet and sleepy, I made my way downstairs, chopped, mixed, folded, rolled, cut and baked. By the time my family was awake, a plate of scones was piled high on the kitchen table, ready to be smeared with butter, strawberry jam or dipped in maple syrup.


It was a rainy, cold Sunday, and warm scones with coffee seemed like rays of sunshine and warmth in the morning gloom. They gave us an excuse to lounge until lunch on the couch, cozy with lots of newspaper and piles of books: another type of perfection altogether.

So for anyone who can' t get enough scones, here' s another recipe to try. This dough comes from the latest issue of Gourmet Magazine, but instead of using currants, I added dried sour cherries and toasted pecans. Definitely make them when you' ve got people to please—they' re just right for sharing. I' d say they make an ideal hostess gift.


Sour Cherry Pecan Scones

Makes 20

3 ½ c all-purpose flour
¾ c sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 ¾ sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
¾ c whole milk
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
¾ c toasted pecans
¾ c dried sour cherries

Preheat oven to 375. Set racks in upper and lower thirds.
Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Add butter and blend with your fingertips (or pastry blender, if your hosts have one) until mixture resembles coarse meal with some pearl-sized lumps of butter.

Stir in milk, eggs, nuts and fruit until combined—don' t be alarmed if dough is sticky.

Drop batter in ¼ c scoops at least 1 inch apart on 2 large, un-greased baking sheets.

Bake 15-20 minutes, rotating trays once to ensure a consistent, pale gold color.

*I like to serve mine with a variety of preserves and butter. These went well with some warmed maple syrup melted in a small bowl with butter.

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