After several kitchen mishaps during the weekend, I needed something comforting on Sunday. Before heading to the market, I decided to make some scones. I had been craving them since the neighborhood brunch, so I pulled out my Barefoot Contessa cookbook and set out to put my own spin on Ina’s delightful treats.
I couldn’t find any dried strawberries at Whole Foods, so I settled for some dried cherries. And since I still had an assload of pistachios from an ice cream I had made before, I decided to toss those into the mix. The combination of the tart cherries and the earthiness of the pistachios worked well together. Even better, the scones turned out light, fluffy and flavorful. Yes, these little babies restored my cooking spirit!
Cherry Pistachio Scones (adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook)
4 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder (not a typo…it really calls for 2 tablespoons of baking powder)
2 teaspoons salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, cubed
4 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup dried tart cherries
1/2 cup pistachios
1 egg and a bit of water for an egg wash
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer (this recipe really should be made with a stand mixer). With the stand mixer set on low, toss in the butter one cube at a time. When all the butter is in, continue mixing until the flour takes on a crumbly texture. In a measuring cup, measure out the heavy cream and then whisk in the eggs. Add the milk mixture to the flour and continue mixing until a sticky batter starts to come together. Add the cherries and the pistachios and mix until the fruit and nuts are incorporated into the batter.
Place parchment paper over two large baking sheets and set them aside. Flour your counter or butcher block (or whatever surface you may use for such things) and dump the dough onto it. Make sure the surface is well floured in order to prevent the dough from sticking. Take out a rolling pin and flour it liberally. Roll the dough out to a rectangular shape until it’s a little less than an inch thick. With a bench knife or a similar utensil (you can even use a pizza cutter), cut medium sized squares out of the dough. Then cut those squares into triangles and place them on the baking sheets. Since the scones only rise up and not out, the triangles can be placed close together (just not touching) to conserve space. Once all the scones are formed, you can brush each top with an egg wash. However, the scones come out just as lovely without the egg wash. Bake the scones for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown (for those with egg wash) or are firm but not hard to the touch (for those without egg wash).
The scones were all fluffy and lovely on the inside and the cherries had a nice bite to them. At least something turned out well in my kitchen this weekend!