Almond + Dried Cherry Scone Recipe

Almond + Dried Cherry Scone Recipe
When cold weather arrives in the Northern Hemisphere and people start baking up a storm, we start melting Down Under and baking is the last thing we want to do. But when my hubby surprised me with air-conditioning this year, my first thought was, baking!! And I started with this divine almond cherry scone recipe.
Dried cherries are my favorite dried fruit of all, and I try to tuck them into everything from plum pudding and fruit cake to cookies and, of course, scones. Larger than raisins or currants, they give a wonderful burst of sour-sweet deliciousness when you bite into them. They’re especially nice in scones where their chewiness adds a beautiful texture to the buttery flakiness of the scone.

Start with Cherries

You can use either sweet or sour dried cherries in this recipe. While both are great, I’m partial to the sour dried cherries. I think they have an added depth of flavor, almost a port wine richness that is perfectly splendid. They also aren’t as sweet, which is a nice reprieve if you’re not a fan of too much sugary sweetness.
If you are not a fan of cherries, by all means try a different dried fruit such as cranberries, apricots, peaches, or figs. Black currants are another lovely choice, and dried apples wouldn’t go amiss, especially when mixed with finely chopped candied ginger and a sprinkling of fragrant spices.
You can also try a fresh fruit option like we did with our British Strawberry Scones and Dark Chocolate Red Currant Scones.

Mix In Additions

Although I love a plain cherry scone recipe any day of the week, I also like to make things a little more interesting in terms of flavor and texture with a variety of additions. Chunks of dark chocolate are always a welcome companion to a cherry scone, but white chocolate is also lovely with its creamy sweetness that melts in the mouth. If you really fancy chocolate in your scones, you must try our Chai Chocolate Chip Scones.
You could also try some grated lime, orange, or lemon zest for added color, scent, and zingy flavor, or keep things earthy with some finely chopped walnuts, hazelnuts, or, my personal favorite, macadamia nuts.
For this batch of cherry scones, I added a handful of slivered almonds and another of cacao nibs. They add a beautiful fragrance while baking and a rather delightful crunch while eating.
I enhanced the almond and cherry flavor of these beauties by adding both sour cherry extract and almond extract. The scent is truly swoon-worthy.
This cherry scone recipe is nice just as it is, but adding a special topping makes them extra gorgeous and scrumptious. I brushed the top of each one with beaten egg, then sprinkled some slivered almonds and white sugar for both crunch and sparkle. Finely chopped dried cherries and raw sugar would also do the trick nicely.

Tea and Cherry Scone Pairings

I served these scones with hot cups of Portland Rose City Chai. Its notes of almond and spice with a hint of blackberry were a delectable accompaniment to these fruity, nutty scones.
They would also go well with other warm, nutty teas such as our Autumn Almond Chai, Caramel Almond Black Tea, and Pick Me Up Blend Oolong Tea.

Cherry Scone Recipe

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup cacoa nibs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cherry extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

Preheat oven to 400F.
In medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Blend in butter until mixture resembles coarse sand. Stir in cherries, almonds, and cacao nibs, then set aside.
In small bowl, whisk together milk, egg, and extracts. Add to dry ingredients and mix with fork just until flour disappears.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured board and knead just enough to bring together into a ball. Press into a circle about 1-inch thick. Cut into wedges and place on parchment-lined baking sheet.
Brush the top of each scone with beaten egg and evenly sprinkle with slivered almonds and white sugar.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack until ready to serve.

Krista Bjorn

Canadian born Krista Bjorn has been traveling and exploring for over 20 years and loves every crazy, embarrassing, and wonderful moment. She's lived in Russia and Portugal and now makes her home in beautiful Queensland, Australia, saving her pennies for her next trip. Her food, photography and travel blog is Rambling Tart.
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