400g SR flour
275g margarine or soft butter
100 – 150g whole glace cherries
125ml (approx) milk
Prep to Cook: Mixing bowl, measuring jug, fork, veg knife, flour shaker, large cutting knife, baking tray with non stick paper, cooling rack, Pre-heat the oven 210 C or Gas 7
Prep: Prep the dough:
Sieve the flour into the mixing bowl and rub in the margarine or butter until it disappears and the flour is yellowy in colour.
Open the glace cherries and using a sharp knife cut through the cherries a few times to cut them a little and mix them with the sticky syrup. The large cherry pieces are lovely in the finished scone.
Scrape all the cherry mixture into the bowl and add the milk. Mix the dough with a fork until soft dough is formed.
Prep the scone squares:
Tip this dough onto a floured worktop and gently pull the dough to form a ball. Knead the dough slightly so that a smooth top is formed and then pat the dough and shape it with your hands into a square shape (about 30cm square). Push in any cherries that stick out too much or pop out whilst you are shaping the scones.
Cut the dough into 9 squares and transfer onto the baking sheet.
Brush the scones with milk and put them straight into the hot oven.
Cook until the scones are golden on top and well risen. This should take about 15 minutes. They are better undercooked than over cooked!
Transfer the scones onto a cooling rack so that the steam can escape and the scones stay crispy.
Aunty Heather’s Cherry Scones are legendary. They are always on the counter, fresh and hot from the oven when we arrive in Lancashire on a visit. Even when you think you can’t eat another, they just jump onto your plate and next minute they are gone. Heather makes wonderful Cherry Scones so I have pinched her recipe to share with you, thanks Heather, keep on cooking!
Making scones with glace cherries means the sugar from the cherries works in the dough to sweeten and soften it. These scones are more like a cherry bun.
Cooks Know How: Scone making relies on SR flour because the raising agent put into the flour helps to rise the scones. Use fresh flour if possible. The fat is added by the rubbing-in method by hand or using a food processor if you want. Once the milk is added the dough forms and unlike bread, does not want to be handled too much. Shape them quickly and get them to the oven. Look for the changes that happen – the dough rises first and then starts to brown. Sometimes the scones split as they rise quickly in the oven, this is good as it means they can be pulled apart for buttering rather than having to slice them. Cherry scones are sweeter and softer than everyday scones because they have more fat (the margarine or butter) and also the sticky syrup in the glace cherries adds sugar. Glazing the scones with milk helps the tops to brown which looks nice. Keep practising making scones as you will get better and quicker and believe me your friends will be impressed.
You can substitute the cherries for dried apricots and add just a tablespoon of soft brown sugar to act as sweetener and to soften the dough slightly.