Cherry Orange Almond Scones

November 12, 2008


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Being at Lis’ wedding this past weekend was an amazingly busy swirl of activity focused on obvious preparations, food, getting acquainted, food, 4am bed times, food, and then more food.

Did I say food?

Not much else can be expected from a group of serious foodies, right?  I’m still in awe of the idea that people can meet through the Internet, converse for a year and a half in blog comments, cyber bake sessions, and more than a few phone calls in some cases, then meet — it all seeming surrealistically normal.  Like I’d always known Lis, Helene and John.  The wedding ceremony was tear inducing (I’m a sucker for big guys who are so obviously devoted to their wives), the reception an artfully decorated evening on the shores of stormy Lake Erie, and the cake something I wish I still had a slice or two of hidden deep in the freezer so I might sneak it out when no one was looking and nibble on it, savoring.  Yes, very good times — and wistful, surprisingly.  When you’ve spent so much time together for several days, and are so busy, once you’re gone, you think of all the conversations you might have had — questions you might have asked.

But there’s always next time, right?

In the meantime here’s a bit of tea and scones served up on my wedding dishes.  I’ll imagine that my no longer invisible friends are sitting across the table with me.  The rest of you can pull up a chair as well if you’d like a warm Cherry Orange Almond scone with Devonshire Cream and jam with a hot cup of Assam.

How do you like your tea?

Cherry Orange Almond Scones

1/2 c. orange juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 c. buttermilk
1 lg. egg
1/4 tsp. almond extract
3 c. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
8 T unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 blanched almonds
1/2 c. dried cherries
1 T orange zest

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Zest a whole orange to measure 1 T, and then juice the orange to measure 1/2 c. juice.  In a small bowl combine juice, buttermilk, egg and extract, whisking until smooth.  In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Drop the butter cubes into the flour mixture and with your fingers, “pinch” the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse meal.  Add the sugar, almonds, cherries, and orange zest, mixing to incorporate evenly.  Add the liquid mixture to the dry and gently mix with a fork just until moist.

Pour out dough onto a lightly floured surface and with floured hands, give it no more than half a dozen turns.  Make a loose somewhat flattened ball about 8″ in diameter and transfer to a parchment or silicone covered baking pan.  With a bench scraper, cut into 6-8 wedges without moving the pieces from one another.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until medium brown and cooked through.  Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a baking rack to cool completely, or enjoy while still warm with some jam and devonshire cream.

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Notes:

  • Milk or plain yogurt will also work in this recipe if buttermilk isn’t available.
  • Instead of leaving the wedges together to bake in the round, you may separate them, or shape each wedge into a ball and then bake.
  • The cooking time will be dependent on how large the entire round is, so prepare to check it for doneness in the center where it can be doughy even though the outside appears done.
  • Devonshire cream can be purchased in some grocery stores and is somewhere between thick whipped cream and semi-soft butter in consistency.  I believe it is known as clotted cream in the UK.  It isn’t sweet.  Instead, it tastes like unsweetened heavy cream, which has it’s own type of sweetness.  A dollop on a warm bit of scone with a dab of jam is truly tasty if you’re someone who doesn’t like cloyingly sweet breads all the time.
  • Assam is a black tea from India that is a deep mahogany color when brewed.  It’s rich flavor is perfect for these scones and breakfast, even though an official “cream tea” like the one I’ve prepared is usually enjoyed in the afternoon.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Judy November 12, 2008

WHat an incredible time you must have had! Isn't food blogging an amazing thing? I always feel so privileged when I look at the relationships that I have been able to forge with such wonderful people!

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Blond Duck November 12, 2008

I want a scone! Please don't think I've forgotten my manners. A thank you note for the lovely sussy is on it's way!

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Lori November 12, 2008

Oh yeah, I 'll take a spot of tea. What beautiful china.

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John November 12, 2008

I have tried to think of a worthy comment but Kelly you nailed it, nothing more to say!

As for the tea, a bit of lemon and a dusting of sugar, please.

:-)

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Haley W. November 12, 2008

Oh, Kelly, what a lovely post!

Your china is beautiful – it looks as beautiful as those scones look delicious.

I like a good cream tea – like a bold English breakfast tea with milk and a little sugar. Yum. Earl Grey actually makes for an interesting cream tea, too. Mmm…..hot tea……

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Chou November 12, 2008

Ah! You hit my soft scone spot. These look fabulous. I just had tea with a fellow grad student on Saturday and it was amazingly fun. Even my hubby enjoyed it. I'm so glad you had a good time at the wedding, and that meeting great online friends translates into real friendships. :)

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MyKitchenInHalfCups November 12, 2008

Are you kidding I've been waiting for you to come in with this, heart pounding, holding my breath!
It really is odd how right it feels meeting someone for the first time that you already know, even writing that seems backwards unless you've done it, then it's easy.
Please I'd love some Earl Grey with those beauties!

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noble pig November 12, 2008

I've pulled up my chair, move a little to left would ya, I don't want to elbow you as I reach for a second scone.

Love the china…and the scones, well I just ate two…they were perfect.

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clumbsycookie November 13, 2008

Ok, I'll come back later during tea time to lick my screen!

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Ben November 13, 2008

Awww it sounds like you had a lot of fun. Would you come to my wedding when I get married? :-p

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Patricia Scarpin November 13, 2008

These look so good – and the ingredients you used are such favorites of mine, Kelly!

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grace November 13, 2008

i'm glad you had a rockin' time.
i've just recently converted to tea-loving, so maybe scone-loving is on the horizon. :)

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kellypea November 14, 2008

Hey Judy — Yes, food blogging is amazing. I've had a lot of fun with my non-food blog, too with friendships there as well. Sadly, they're not getting attention right now. I need to fix that!

Hi BD — no worries on that. I was glad to send the treats and hope they were enjoyed. It was a risky choice on my part, but I couldn't resist the spice!

Thanks Lori — I love my china, too. Unfortunately the company went out of business, so I depend on Replacements, Ltd. to round out my collection.

Hi John — I know you know…it's a warm and fuzzy thing, right? I'll have to work on the dusting of sugar. I'm not good at that ahahaha.

Hi Haley — Thanks! I like Earl Grey, too, but have noticed that the citrus in it sort of curdles the milk I like in my tea, so Assam is the backup!

Hey Chou — definitely a worthwhile time and already beginning to fade a bit — like it never happened. Funny how that works, isn't it?

Tanna, I know that if I'd been younger, I wouldn't have had the nerve. There are lovely things about being older when you've lacked confidence most of your life…

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Sandie November 15, 2008

I love your wedding dishes, they're beautiful. These photos look like shots taken from within a bed & breakfast inn. Speaking of which, can you believe I've never made scones? Your recipe and lovely photos may be the push I need to get in the kitchen and start experimenting.

Now, if I only had these dishes for my photo shoots…

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Tartelette November 15, 2008

My wedding china is blue too :)
This looks perfect right now it's 80F and rainy…A scone (or 2) and a cup of tea sounds like the thing I need!

I had a blast meeting you and talking to you. Thank you for a great time! When you guys decide to come back to Charleston, this time for a visit, we would love to have you stay with us!

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Jenny November 15, 2008

Not sure which I like better – the scone or the dish it sits on. :-
Glad to hear you had a wonderful time.

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Mamasaid November 17, 2008

What incredible china! I never tried assam tea. I do love chai but I'm really a coffee lover. Gourmet coffee, especially Kona coffee, is my weakness. I think either would taste great with these scones.

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maris November 18, 2008

Your china is gorgeous! Perfect for tea and perfect for scones!

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nina November 22, 2008

Oh yum. I’ll take mine with coffee, please.

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