I've been having a lot of fun working with bing cherries, but decided to switch from the fresh ones to the dried ones because, after all, bing cherry season need never be over as long as you have a package of delicious and sweet dried cherries in your pantry.
Because I had such wonderful success with adding amaretto to the cherry preserves, I decided to make some scones with amaretto cherries in them. You have to plan ahead for this recipe by soaking your dried bing cherries in amaretto overnight. Once that's done, the scones go together easily and are, I think, the best scones I've ever eaten. Topped with homemade Devonshire cream (that recipe will be coming up tomorrow), and a dollop of delicious fresh Bing Cherry Preserves, nothing is better for breakfast than this. Whether you are serving it to guests at some special occasion breakfast or brunch, or just treating yourself, these are wonderful!
Cream Scones with Amaretto Cherries
2 cups sifted cake flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 T. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 3-oz. pkg. Melissa’s dried bing cherries,
soaked overnight in 1/3 cup Amaretto
1/2 tsp. almond flavoring
1/3 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle. Drain cherries; set aside.
In the work bowl of a food processor combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal; empty mixture into a large bowl. Add cherries, toss to coat.
In a small mixing bowl whisk together egg, cream, and almond flavoring. When thoroughly blended, pour it over the flour mixture in the large bowl and fold until it just comes together. Add 1-3 more teaspoons of cream, if needed.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. With floured hands, press into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle. Cut out rounds with a 2" biscuit cutter and arrange 2 inches apart on a Silpat-lined baking sheet. Gather scraps together and cut out additional scones.
Brush tops of scones with cream and sprinkle liberally with sanding sugar. Bake scones, rotating baking sheet halfway through, until edges are golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on a rack before serving.