Bookish Baking, books, discussion

Bookish Baking #13: Sour Cherry Scones (Carry On)

I’d never had sour cherry scones before Watford. Just raisin ones–and more often plain, and always something that came from the shop, then got left in an oven too long.
          At Watford, there are fresh-baked cherry scones for breakfast every day if you want them. And again in the afternoon with tea…
          I always have tea with Penelope and Agatha, and I’m the only one of us who ever eats the scones…Once Penelope tried to calculate how many scones I’ve eaten since we started at Watford, but she got bored before she got the answer.
          I just can’t pass up the scones if they’re there. They’re soft and light and a little bit salty. Sometimes I dream about them.

–Simon, Chapter Two, Carry On by Rainbow Rowell


2 1 /4 Cups Flour
1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Cup Sugar
3/4 tsp. Salt
1 stick (8 Tbsp.) Butter
2 Eggs
1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
3/4 Cup Sour Cherries – Fresh is better, if not, canned.
1 Tbsp. Water
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon almond extract


1. In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients & then grate in the butter. Cut it all together with a pastry blender or two forks or knives to create a just-crumbly mixture. In a liquid measuring cup whisk together 1 egg & the heavy cream. Pour this into the crumb mixture & stir until it just comes together. Fold in the cherries until just combined (make sure the cherries are truly as drained & patted dry as you can get them if using canned!). Pre-heat your oven to 375ºF. Line a baking tray with parchment.

2. If making wedges: Form the dough into a ball & place it on a large sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten the ball into a disc about 1 1/2″ thick & wrap in the plastic & place in the freezer until the oven is ready. Flour a large knife & cut the disc into 8 equal slices. Arrange these about 1 1/2-2″ apart on the tray.
If making mounds: Break the dough into ~2 1/2″ diameter balls & place them on the tray about 2″ apart. Flatten them gently into discs about 1 1/2″ thick. Place in the freezer until the oven is ready.

3. Whisk the remaining egg with the 1 Tbsp. water until the egg whites are completely broken up. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash & then sprinkle with the turbinado/raw sugar. Slide in the oven, middle rack, & bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden on top & golden brown around the edges. Serve warm with tea & copious amounts of real butter (try salted).

  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Place all topping ingredients in bowl; mix well. Set aside.
  3. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in another bowl; cut in butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Combine sour cream, egg and almond extract in another bowl; mix until smooth. Stir into flour mixture just until moistened. Stir in cherries.
  5. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead 8-10 times until smooth, adding small amount of flour, if necessary.
  6. Divide dough in half. Pat each half into 7-inch circle. Place 2 inches apart onto large ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle topping evenly over dough. Score each half into 8 wedges; do not separate. Bake 25-30 minutes or until scones are lightly browned. Cool 15 minutes; separate scones.
  7. Store leftover scones in airtight container at room temperature.

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