Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Perfect Marriage of Biscuit and Crumb Cake

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The scone. I don't know about you, but I've had some seriously nasty scones. Most of the ones I've had the misfortune to sample have been incredibly dry and flavorless.

Some have tasted akin to sucking on this:

Other times, it has been more like licking this type of surface:

That being said, I have been fortunate to try some truly delicious scones. One of my favorite recipes is one for pumpkin scones I tried a few months ago. This one jumped out at me because it is by one of my favorite chefs: Anne Burrell and because I love cherries. This scone is the perfect combination of tender, flaky biscuit and crumbly, fruit filled crumb/coffee cake. Delicious!

If you try this recipe, be sure not to leave out the lemon zest - it marries perfectly with the dried fruit and really brings the flavors together. I also doubled this recipe with great results!

Anne Burrell's Dried Cherry Almond Scones

- 3 cups flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 1 lemon (zested)
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 sticks cold butter (cubed)
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
- 3/4 cup heavy cream (original recipe calls for 1/2 cup but I added more to moisten the dough)
- 1/8 cup each brown sugar and white sugar (mix together)


Preheat oven to 375. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Transfer the dry mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer and add in the lemon zest.

2. In the meantime, make sure you toast your almonds in the oven for a few minutes to bring out the flavors. Also, keeping the butter cold while you wait is vital!

3. Add in the butter and rub it through the flour mixture completely with your fingers until a coarse meal forms. Add in the cherries and almonds - be sure they are well combined.

4. Add in the heavy cream slowly and combine it into the butter/flour mixture. Form the dough into a 1"-thick disk and slice it into wedges. Try to shape the wedges evenly - I found a pizza cutter worked the best!

5. Place the wedges to a parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet and sprinkle each wedge generously with the mixture of brown and white sugar. Bake the scones for 18-19 minutes, turning the pan halfway through the process for even baking.

Serve warm and enjoy! Also be careful not to accidentally touch your wrist to the edge of the baking sheet while testing for done-ness...ouch!

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