I really adore scones. To me a scone is better than a piece of cake or a pie. It's like a cross between the two, and such a delight to enjoy with a nice hot cuppa. Don't worry, I only drink herbal infusions which I drink black, so nothing to take away from the delightful flavour of a good scone! Having said that even when I did drink ordinary tea, I always enjoyed it black and unsweetened.
I am always on the lookout for a new scone recipe and when I spied this recipe for Vanilla Scones the other day on a blog called Stuck on Sweet, they pushed all my buttons, and I just knew that I was going to have to bake them!
I adapted the measurements to UK measurements so no worries on that score if you live in Europe or the UK. I did find the dough to be a bit wet, whereas she had said that the dough was a bit crumbly.That could be a difference in the flour, or the fact that she did not specify a size of egg. I used a large. Our eggs could be even larger over here than they are in North America. I don't know for sure. (That's why baking by weight is so much more accurate folks!)
The sticky dough did not present a problem for me. I simply tipped it out onto a well floured board, patted it into a round and then flipped the round over before cutting it into wedges. When I say well-floured, I mean well floured. I am sure I had about 1/2 cup of flour on that board, so nothing would stick. It worked beautifully.
I also decided to add some chopped sour cherries to the mix because, one I like them, a lot, and two . . . vanilla . . . it just begged to have some kind of dried fruit added.
I also chose to use a mix of pure vanilla extract and some grindings from a vanilla grinder. Oh boy but these smelled heavenly when they were baking. I ground some of that vanilla into the glaze also!
These are light and sweet with a lovely buttery flavour and lots of vanilla oomph. The tartness of the sour cherries sets that all off beautifully. Wise choice on my part!
Because my dough was quite damp, I did end up with some craggy bits, but to me that's all the better because it made for lovely little sweet crevices for that glaze to soak into. All in all . . . these are really prize worthy, blue ribbon winning, delightfully tasty scones!
*Sour Cherry & Vanilla Scones*Makes 8
170g cold butter, cubed (3/4 cup)1 large free range egg
1 TBS pure vanilla extract
a few grindings of a vanilla pod (optional)120ml whole milk (1/2 cup)
75g dried sour cherries, roughly chopped (1/2 cup)
Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F gas mark 7. Line a baking tray with baking paper set aside.
Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar. Drop in the butter and rub it in with your finger tips until crumbly. Stir in the sour cherries. Beat together the egg, milk and vanilla. Add to the dry mixture and stir to combine to make a soft sticky dough. Tip onto a generously floured board and pat out to an 8 inch circle. Using a sharp knife, cut into 8 wedges. (Cut cross wise into equal quarters and then cut each quarter in half) Carefully move onto the prepared baking tray.
Bake for 10 to 14 minutes until well risen and golden brown. Remove from the oven. Let cool on the tray for a few minutes before lifting onto a wire rack to cool.
Whisk all of the glaze ingredients together until smooth and spoonable. Spoon over the scoons and allow to set completely before serving.
Its recipes like this that make me really grateful that I live in a fairly temperate climate where you only have a few days in the summer that make turning on the oven unbearable. And if you do live in a climate where its hotter than that, bake them anyways. They are well worth a few minutes of discomfort. Trust me on this. Bon Appetit!