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Joy of baking

Tart cherry scones

(Sally Pasley Vargas for The Boston Globe)
November 30, 2011
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Makes 8 large scones

Use moist, dried tart cherries for these scones, which are mixed with buttermilk, an egg yolk, lemon rind, and vanilla and lemon extracts. Before baking, sprinkle the triangles with sugar.

3 1/4  cups flour 

2 1/4  teaspoons baking powder 

3/4  teaspoon baking soda 

1/8  teaspoon cream of tartar 

1/2  teaspoon salt 

1/2  cup sugar 

12  tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size chunks 

1  cup dried (but moist) tart cherries  

 Grated rind of 1/2 lemon  

1  cup buttermilk, mixed well 

1  egg yolk 

2  teaspoons vanilla extract 

1/2  teaspoon lemon extract 

 Extra flour (for shaping)  

 Extra sugar (for sprinkling) 

1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, and sugar. Whisk to blend them.

3. Scatter the butter on top. Using a pastry blender or two blunt knives, cut the fat into the flour until it reduces to pearl-size bits. With your fingertips, very lightly rub the mixture to reduce the fat to smaller flakes.

4. Scatter the cherries and lemon rind on top. Toss lightly.

5. In a bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg yolk, and vanilla and lemon extracts. Pour the liquids over the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula to form a dough. Lightly knead the dough in the bowl to bring it together, giving it 8 to 10 quick turns.

6. On a lightly floured counter, divide the dough in half. Roll or pat each piece into a 5-inch round. Cut each round into quarters. Transfer the scones to the baking sheet, setting them about 2 1/2 inches apart. Sprinkle the tops with sugar.

7. Bake the scones for 30 minutes or until golden. Transfer to wire racks to cool slightly. Serve warm. Lisa Yockelson

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