Monday, July 13, 2009

100-Mile Desserts: Mulberry-Cherry Scones

Not only is mid July mulberry season, but also cherry season...

Cherries are such an adaptable fruit - excellent chopped into muffins, cakes, crisps, fresh on cereal or oatmeal, made into smoothies, added to icecream, yogurt or sorbets, or dried and used in cookies or eaten as a dried fruit snack. They also freeze well - last year we bought a cherry pitter, which made the pitting process so much quicker than cutting the flesh off the pit by hand. The pitter is handcrank, with a large funnel ontop where you drop the cherries, and then by cranking the pit is extracted and the freshly hulled cherry falls into a bowl below. Very simple. The pitter is available at Lee Valley, Berry Hill Farm, or from the local Home Hardware store. Worth the investment if you are making cherry jam, or dealing with cherries in large quantities for winter storage.

Here's a cherry-mulberry scone recipe we made for breakfast this morning. The scones only use a few ingredients and take less than 15 minutes to bake, so they are the perfect quick recipe for unexpected visitors, a simple breakfast, or even to make while camping (they could be baked over a fire in a frying pan with lid on). They are adapted from a recipe called "world's best whole-wheat biscuits". They are nice eaten plain, or served with butter (or even jam).

Mulberry-Cherry Scones

1 1/4 cups flour, plus a little more for rolling out dough
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk or cream
fruit of choice (we used a small handful each of cherries and mulberries)

1) Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
2) In large bowl sift together dry ingredients.
3) Using a fork, gradually stir in syrup and milk until soft dough forms.
4) Add fruit pieces and then knead dough on floured surface about 10 times.
5) Pat into a circle or rectangle about 1/2 inch thick, and using a knife cut into rounds, squares or triangles. Make sure fruit is distributed fairly evenly between scones, or press a few extra fruit pieces into the scones. Dust with additional flour.
6) Bake about 15 minutes, until golden brown. Do not overbake.

Makes 12-14 scones.

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