Oaty Cornmeal Scones with Sour Cherries (aka Old-Fashioned Scones)

By • November 19, 2011 • 0 Comments

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Author Notes: I usually lean towards the savory rather than sweet when it comes to breakfast, but these scones win me over (the bakery where I worked growing up sold a scone by the same name, but sadly I never copped the recipe, so I noodled this version on my own). I don't know how 'old-fashioned' the combination of oats and cornmeal is, but it feels wholesome and homespun, perfect for a holiday morning. Unlike a lot of hockey-puck scones, these are delicate and tender, like a biscuit, and the cornmeal and ground oats add a bit of nubby, earthy sweetness (nicely offset by the tangy dried cherries and buttermilk).

If you want to make things even easier on yourself if you're doing holiday entertaining (or if you're just not a morning person), you can roll out the scones in advance and freeze them, uncooked (I par-freeze on a tray/plate, then toss them together into a sealed bag). The frozen scones can go directly in the oven, as indicated in the recipe, adding a few extra minutes of cooking time.
deensiebat

Makes 20 small scones

  • 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 1/2 cups flour (if desired, you can substitute whole wheat pastry flour for some measure of the flour)
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus additional for dusting the tops
  • 1 cup dried sour cherries (other dried fruit will work as well, but slightly tangy fruits are especially nice)
  • 8 ounces cold, unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1-1 1/2 cup buttermilk, as needed
  • 1 egg, beaten with a splash of water or milk (aka the egg wash)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheit, and line two cookie sheets with parchment (if making in advance and freezing, skip this step).
  2. Place the oats in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until they're blitzed to a mostly floury powder, with a few bits here and there. Add the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar, and pulse until evenly mixed. Add the cold butter, and pulse a few times until the largest pieces of butter are about oatmeal-sized (it's better to under- rather than over-mix). If you have a pastry cutter, you can turn the flour mixture into a bowl, and cut the butter in by hand instead.
  3. Once the butter has been cut in, turn the mixture into a bowl. Add the dried fruit, and stir to combine. Add the buttermilk, starting with the smaller amount, until the dough comes together -- it will be moister than pie crust, but try not to add so much buttermilk so that it becomes gloppy. Again, try not to over-mix. As soon as the dough comes together in a cohesive mass, turn out onto a lightly floured countertop.
  4. Roll the dough out to a thickness of 1", and cut into circles with a 2.5" cutter. Place shaped scones on the prepared trays, and lightly mush together and re-roll the scraps until you've formed all the dough (if you're pre-making the scones, stop at this step and freeze them, then proceed with the recipe on baking day).
  5. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash, and sprinkle with a light dusting of sugar (you'll just need a few spoonfuls for each tray). Bake ~15-20 minutes, until they are starting to get lightly browned. Let cool on a rack and enjoy.
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