I am sitting in my empty house for the last time this summer. Sebastian has the last day of science camp, the only camp I have signed him up for, and Julian has his last morning of preschool. After that they are home all summer. I am an interesting combination of relief, terror, excitement and dread. I love my boys and for me being a stay at home mom is the best choice. However it is often not easy being home with two boys who are far more intelligent and energetic then I am. Forget about keeping the house clean, I wasn't good at that before I had two whirlwinds of destruction. It is just not a priority for me. Cooking however is and sometimes my boys, who are best friends, will entertain each other while I cook. Afterwards there is a trail of destruction from their games that I may get around to cleaning...
Last week while they played outside I made a batch of our favorite scones for an afternoon snack. We had them with whipped cream and the last of the strawberry jam from the previous summer. Now that we finally have enough berries for more jam I need to make these again. My British husband loves them, as do Julian and Sebastian. Lewis says they are moist and like a true scone while most scones in the U.S. are dry. The wonderful thing is these are also really easy to make because they don't use any butter, no working the butter in with your fingers, a fork or a pastry blender. Instead of using butter the scones rely on the fat from heavy cream. I usually use dried tart cherries but you can use any dried fruit you want chopped up into smaller pieces. Dried apricots with crystallized ginger would be wonderful. If you want to use fresh berries they should be frozen so you don't end up with a brightly colored pink or purple scone.
After keeping up with the boys all day, making these in the afternoon and the combined destruction in the kitchen and the yard I only had enough energy to make hot dogs for dinner. Not every meal I make is worthy of sharing here.
The original recipe for these scones is the dried fruit cream scones from Marion Cunningham's The Breakfast Book. She uses a mix of dried fruit and raisins, I prefer to leave out the raisins and just add more dried cherries. Her recipe also calls for a glaze of butter and sugar on top that I leave out. For me the scones are a perfect balance of sweet and richness and a sugar toping would just detract. It is also much nicer not to have boys with sugar glaze all over their hands leaving a trail of butter and sugar around the house.
Dried Sour Cherry Cream Scones
adapted form Marion Cunningham's Good Eating
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour (or use all white flour)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dried sour cherries or other favorite dried fruit, chopped if it is larger then a dried cherry
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 425° Use an ungreased baking sheet, you don't even need a silpat or parchment paper.
Combine the flours, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl and stir with a fork to mix well. Add the dried fruit and mix with the fork. Use the fork to mix in the heavy cream, stirring until the dough holds together in a rough mass. The dough will be very sticky.
Lightly flour a board and transfer the dough to it. Knead the dough 8 or 9 times. Pat it into a circle about 10 inches wide. Cut the circle into even wedges, I usually cut it into 10. Place about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.
I like to serve them with whipped cream and raspberry jam, or butter and jam. The following day everyone was just eating them plain.