I love when the universe and my pantry are in harmony.
Consider the kind of serendipitous event where I had just used exactly half of a can of almond paste, which meant I had 1/3 of a cup of left over almond paste, an ingredient I never use;
and then, behold! the Internet spits out, at first search for “uses for almond paste” a recipe for beautiful almond scones with dried cherries.
Eureka! What’s more, I had just bought dried tart cherries earlier that day.
And the recipe calls for 1/3 of a cup of almond paste?!
Methinks the universe and my pantry were telling me something.
And thank goodness I paid attention.
These scones were meant to be. They were wonderfully soft and sweet on the inside with a crackly, ultra crisp crust, punctuated with plump little cherry bombs.
Served warm, split with a pat of butter or Devonshire cream, a bit of jam, and a spot of tea? Divine!
Cheers to that!
Almond and Cherry Cream Scones
from Baking Unplugged by Nicole Rees
1/3 cup almond paste
1/3 cup butter, cold
1/3 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup cream, cold
1 egg, cold
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups flour
liberal sugar for sprinkling (I used cinnamon sugar)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a heavy sheet tray with parchment paper.
Whisk together vanilla and almond extracts, egg, and cream. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, baking powder, flour, and salt.
Using a pastry cutter, a box grater, two knives, or your fingers, cut the butter and almond paste into the dry ingredients. You want the chunks to all be roughly pea sized. I also like to squish mine a wee bit.
Stir in the dried cherries.
Stir in almost all of the cream mixture, reserving about 1 or 2 tablespoons for brushing. Your dough should come together into a cohesive mass.
Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, gently, a few times just to bring the dough all together.
Pat into a circle, and cut into 8 even pieces. Space the scones at least 1.5 inches apart from each other on the baking sheet.
Brush with remaining cream and egg mixture, and sprinkle very liberally with sugar. This is what will create the lovely crust.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the tops are nice and golden.