Cherry Drop Scones

14 05 2010

First things first, don’t be put off by the cherry bit because I know they’re basically impossible to find in South Africa when they’re out of season, and they are extortionate when they are in season. These will honestly work with almost anything – cranberries dried or fresh, blue berries, raspberries, apricots… you name it. I am lucky enough to still have a stash of frozen cherries in the freezer from cherry picking last November. Possibly the most exciting thing about these scones is that they are a) dead easy and b) you can freeze some of the batter (already ‘dropped’ into scones, so you’re freezing raw scones effectively) and then just plonk them on a baking tray and bake from frozen to golden in about 20 minutes. Perfect for an un-expected but delightful afternoon tea, which is exactly what I did yesterday. I struggle to see how you can beat fresh and warm-from-the-oven scones on a rainy winters afternoon…

If you are using frozen anything, just let it thaw out first and then drain the juice away.

Serves 6 | Preparation time 15 minutes | Cooking time 15-20 minutes
Rob’s rating 7.5/10
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen Blog’s Meyer Lemon Fresh Cranberry Scones

WHAT YOU’LL NEED
1.5 Tbsp lemon zest
325g regular flour
100g sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
85g unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups cherries/berries etc
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk (so another egg, but lose the egg white for this one)
1 cup plain fat free yoghurt

WHAT TO DO
1. Pre-heat oven to 180C
2. Line a baking tray with grease-proof paper
3. In a blender mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, butter and lemon zest until it’s soft and crumbly
4. Add the cherries (+2Tbsp extra sugar if using fresh or frozen but not dried)
5. In a separate bowl lightly beat the egg yolk and stir in the yoghurt and then add this wet mixture to the above dry mixture until just combined – don’t over mix!
6. Then ‘drop’ the mixture onto the baking paper using two spoons and make neat little rows to fill the tray. You can make them any size you like, they will grow by about 30% when they bake. I got about 12 from my batch, and froze 4 for later use.

See, told you they were dead easy. No greasing a baking tray, no flouring a surface to roll them and discovering flour in all corners of your kitchen for weeks on end.

Serve piping hot with whipped cream. Though don’t be deceived, these little cookies can definitely hold their own without any accompaniment whatsoever.

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