This recipe originally featured in our post Afternoon Tea at Chateau Gastreau in March 2014.
Russell here, for this recipe post. Patrick is far more into his savoury scones, like these seaweed ones, whereas I’m more a fan of the sweet varieties. I don’t take sugar in my tea, but I do take sugar by the bucketload in my desserts and treats! Generally speaking, when it comes to scones we swear by Sam Stern’s recipe for ‘Buttermilk Scones’, which are featured in his book “Virgin to Veteran: How to Get Cooking with Confidence“. However in this instance, a specific recipe for Cherry scones doesn’t appear in any form within the array of cookbooks we own.
I adapted Nigella Lawson’s famed ‘Lily’s Scones’ from “How to be a Domestic Goddness“, but made some changes. Most notably,that the scone mix was made a day ahead of baking, then cut and cooked just an hour before serving. But it is fine to make them all at once, if you must *sheds tear*…
- 500g Plain Flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1.5 tbsp cream of tartar
- 25g caster sugar
- 75g cold unsalted butter, diced.
- 1 tsp Vanilla Paste (optional)
- 300ml milk
- 75g glacé cherries, chopped into quarters.
- 1 large egg, beaten for egg wash.
If you are not resting them overnight, preheat the oven to 220°C. (Make sure you allow it to preheat properly, the correct heat is so important in baking).
Weigh the flour, salt, bicarb and cream of tartar into a small bowl and sift it all together in one larger. Using your hands rub in the butter until it goes into a sandy rubble. If using vanilla paste add it now. It adds a slight sweetness and a nice subtle flavour, but can be a bit of a luxury and expense. Slowly add in the milk, stirring with a wooden spoon (or your hands).
Remove from the bowl and place on a floured surface and bring together gently to form a dough. Shape it into a makeshift rectangle, wrap in cling film and pop into the fridge until you are about to bake. Otherwise, ignore that wrapping instruction and continue on.
(We believe that by resting them overnight helps to thicken the batter, ensuring it is relaxed and the butter is nicely cooled. By treating it like pastry in that way, it ensures a fantastic rise, lighter inside and a crispier outside).
Remove from the fridge and roll the dough out to about an inch or two. Try to keep the dough taller rather than rolled and flattened, as scones never rise in the oven as much as you will them to.
Get a scone cutter, we used a round one but a crinkle one is good too- it’s all about personal preference. The aim is to get about 8-12 scones from this but re-rolling is permitted for the last couple. Flour your baking tray and place them on it (don’t worry about putting them too far apart) and brush the tops with the eggwash for colour. Avoid letting it drip down the side, this inhibits the rise that will happen during baking.
Put in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes or until risen and golden – this will depend on how you cut them and how tall they are.
Serve them warm. If making them far in advance of visitors, you can always wrap them inside some foil, brush a few drops of water on top and put into a warm oven to reheat. We kept them in a fresh tea towel and served them inside it on the table, keeping them warm and snug.
We served them with loganberry jam and whipped cream, but are delicious if simply served with melted butter and drizzled with golden syrup.