Post by Alison Hein.
I’ve been baking a lot this winter. There are a few reasons for this. One is simply, well, because I like to bake. Next, I have been trapped in my home on numerous occasions due to ridiculous and nearly constant cold, ice and snow. Finally, a nice hot oven helps to keep the heat up in the house on these low temperature days. My husband has been enjoying homemade bread hot from the oven, sweet pastries and pies dusted with sugar, and hardy scones laden with pure Irish butter.
The trouble is, with no way to safely get to the grocery store, my pantry has been running low. Inspiration for these scones struck when I glanced at my lemon-filled fruit bowl, and remembered a pack of dried tart cherries tucked in the back of the cabinet.
Mrs. O’Callaghan’s Irish Scones are so light and delicate that I used her method here. Adding lemon rind to the batter and swapping cherries for raisins did the trick. One lemon is enough to make both the scones and the butter. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, just add about a tablespoon of cider vinegar to a cup of milk for a great faux substitute.
Warm yourself by the stove, brew a strong cup of black tea, and take your lemony scones off to a cozy spot by the window. Take a good long look at all that ice and snow. Then gratefully feast on a warm and cozy breakfast in bed.
Lemon Cherry Scones
3 cups flour
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1½ cups buttermilk, plus additional for brushing scone after baking
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon lemon oil, or lemon flavoring
½ cup dried tart cherries
Preheat oven to 350°. In large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and grated lemon rind. Stir baking soda into buttermilk. Pour buttermilk mixture, lightly beaten egg and lemon oil into dry ingredients and mix just to combine. Batter should be thick but spreadable. Stir in dried tart cherries.
Grease and flour a 10-inch cast iron frying pan. Spread batter evenly in pan. Place in oven and bake until scone is nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in top comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes. Alternatively, grease and flour two round 8-inch cake pans. Divide batter evenly between the two pans and reduce baking time to about 45 minutes.
Remove scone from pan and brush top with a little buttermilk, if you like. Wrap immediately in a tea towel so scones remain warm and soft. When ready to serve, cut scone in wedges. Serve warm with lemon honey butter.
Makes 12 to 14 scones.
Lemon Honey Butter
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
Add softened butter to small bowl. Stir in honey and lemon juice and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.