Happy Mother’s Day, to all the Mom’s out there, be it of human children, doggie or kitty children, or any of the combinations this modern life affords! You’re the most important thing to a child, and one day is truly not enough to honor all that you do! In particular, I send this to my own mother, who’s name happens to also be Elizabeth Hennessey. She is such a wonderful person in general, that her being an amazing Mom to us, and to many that are not her own children, is something I am grateful for each and every day!
If I lived near my mom and dad, I would do a great deal more cooking for them. But, I live 600+ miles away, so the cooking has to be special any time it does happen. When Mom came out to help with the Hubby’s recovery, I made lamb shanks for my Mom’s birthday celebration dinner, labor intensive, but so worth it for my mom! I know my Dad is a big dessert lover, in particular blueberry pie and cherry pie. I am not a big blueberry pie fan, but the cherries, I adore, I guess I got that from him!
You will recall I gave you a recipe for preserved cherries (AKA Maraschino cherries) here so it’s obvious I love them in any form they come in. So, when I got a blog post from Faith from TheKitchn for strawberry sour cream scones this week, I suddenly thought, ohh… cherries! Then it went off into the transom of my mind, and as usual with my menopausal mind fog, I forgot about it. But Hubby and I went to Whole Foods last night, and they had bags of gorgeous frozen cherries and they were on sale! Win, WIN! The idea of the scones popped back into my head. Now, I will tell you, my go to thing when cooking with the kiddies are chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes (my niece doesn’t realize they’re actually muffins with Nutella on…) or scones. And for the scones, I steadfastly go to Nigella Lawson’s cheese scone dough (in Nigella Bites) as “the one” recipe with some tweaks. It’s simply the easiest and tastiest scone recipe, but it’s not the traditional lead bellied bombs you usually see. They’re light and airy, and she uses them for making pigs in blankets… I have to say they’re divine! I take out the mustard powder and substitute sugar, and chocolate chips go in rather than cheese, and VOILA, you have a chocolate chip scone! For one thing, Nigella begins with self raising flour, which I have at the ready all the time, I even travel with it if we drive home to New York! She also doesn’t use the usual sour cream or buttermilk and I find that incredibly easier for impromptu cooking.
Faith’s recipe calls for all the traditional things, sour cream, buttermilk, eggs. I made a bit of a detour and combined the two recipe’s with a few tweaks of my own. For example, instead of adding the sour cream, I just added an egg yolk for richness and a bit of dough enhancement. These are simpler, and take mere minutes to toss together, and are really delicious! Once again, you can substitute many things here, the constant is the flour amounts and the liquids have to roughly remain in the same proportions, or you end up with a too wet mess. Let me know what you think, and I actually took a few photos’ so you’ll see what inspired me about these this morning.
Mother’s Day Cherry Scones
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar (can be refined white, or raw brown)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (cardamom might be nice here too..!)
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup frozen (or fresh) cherries pitted and cut in half
1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)
1/2 cup milk (I used coconut milk, since we never have milk in the house)
1 egg yolk
Scant 1/3 cup Demerara sugar (or some crunchy, large grain sugar for topping)
Preheat your oven to 400°, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, foil or a silpat.
In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cinnamon), stir well to combine. Add the cold butter to the mixture and toss to combine. With your finger tips or two forks, or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour, just until the cubes are better combined, and the mixture starts to look crumby. Toss in the cherries, still frozen and the almonds if you’re using them and set aside. In a jug or bowl, combine the milk and egg yolk and beat to combine well. Here comes the tricky part, combine the liquids and flour/cherry mixture in the bowl with a wooden spoon. It will instantly clump up, and so my best advice it to use your hands and, as gently as you can, mix the two together. It will be a sticky messy dough, but it will hold together fairly well. Don’t worry about clumps of flour or butter, that will all work itself out in the oven.
Once most of the flour in incorporated, turn the whole lot out onto the parchment lined baking sheet and shape it into a round. With a bench scraper, or a large knife, dipped in flour, cut the round into wedges. Now you’re ready to bake!
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. They will be darker than you think they will be, that’s due to the frozen cherries melting a bit. Let them cool to room temperature to try them. I like them just as they are, but you can split them and slather with butter too!
So, I hope your Mother’s Day is wonderful!