Most weekday mornings, I am the first person up in our house. I usually make a point of getting up at least fifteen minutes earlier than I need to, so I can sip my coffee and read the news (and by news, I mean social media with a dash of the New York Times). I realize that to snooze-button lovers, this seems crazy. Why would you get up before you have to???
Because those extra fifteen minutes allow me to transform from a tired monster into a human being. And when you have to get kids ready for school and daycare and pack lunches and double check who’s picking up who and what errands need to be run, it’s helpful if you can form actual words and not just grunts and sighs.
For me this transformative process usually involves, besides an IV drip of coffee, breakfast with a minimum of effort; a bagel with embarrassing amounts of cream cheese or cold cereal in a pinch. But wouldn’t it be nice if, instead, I could grab a creamy, flaky, buttery scone instead? One that pairs nicely with my minimum two cups of coffee? Yes, I think that would be nice.
So if, like me, you find yourself with a spare thirty minutes or so on a Sunday afternoon, try making a batch of these cherry-lime scones. They come together quickly, especially if you have a food processor. And if you don’t have one, you could easily use a pastry blender and get the same result while toning your arms.
These scones are adapted from a recipe in my trusty Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book (you know, the one with all the oil and butter stains on the cover). The original recipe calls for currants, which I don’t usually have on hand; instead I swapped in dried Michigan cherries and added lime zest to the sugar for an extra citrus kick. They suggest pressing the dough into a cake pan and then cutting it into eight perfectly equal wedges, which I found much easier than trying to form equal circles by hand.
The results are the opposite of the hard, chalky scones I remember avoiding in childhood and are instead the flaky, buttery triangles of my breakfast dreams.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- Zest of 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- ½ cup dried cherries
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 450° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- In a small bowl, combine the sugar and lime zest. With your fingers, rub the zest and sugar together.
- Combine flour, sugar and lime zest, baking powder, and salt in a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Alternately, whisk ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Scatter the butter pieces in the food processor. Pulse about 12 more times. If not using a food processor, do this with a pastry blender until butter pieces resemble cornmeal (a few larger pieces are fine).
- Transfer mixture to a large bowl and add the heavy cream, stirring for 30 seconds.
- Turn dough out into a 9 inch round baking pan and pat the dough until it is evenly distributed. With a sharp knife, cut the dough into 8 wedges.
- Place wedges onto prepared baking sheet and bake for thirteen minutes. Let them cool for ten minutes, then enjoy.