Tart Cherry Scones with Earl Grey and Ricotta
I’ve baked scones exactly twice in my life/in the last week, and the first was a failed attempt at developing this recipe. For the first go-’round, I’d had the delight of scoring some fresh sour pie cherries at the farmer’s market (I always seem to miss them!). Knowing that I’d likely only get one crack at sour cherries for the year, I wish I’d decided to make something less experimental… you see where I am going with this.
My first version of these tart cherry scones with earl grey and ricotta was an unmitigated disaster. Everything went great at first. The dough came together perfectly, a disk of pastry-perfection all ready to go, and then… wait… how am I going to get these sticky, juicy cherries into the dough NOW? I attempted to fold them in with my hands. It was a horrible idea. Things got slimy and my kitchen basically exploded.
I don’t now how the idea of cherries and earl grey popped into my head, but I knew that it was a winner at heart and that another attempt was warranted. Dried tart cherries to the rescue! Attempt number two was drama-free and I don’t think I cursed even once while making them. And, duh, they are delicious!
I’m no scone expert (clearly), but I opted for full-fat ricotta as the binder in these cherry scones to add a little heft and richness to the crumb. Truth-be-told, I have historically not been a big fan of the extremely dry texture of most scones I’ve eaten. The ricotta performed as I hoped- these scones are crumbly as they ought to be, but do not feel quite so dry in the mouth. You could probably still whistle a tune after eating. If that’s your thing.
I suck at whistling.
Completely un-hilariously, the day after version two came out of the oven I ran into a fresh berry scone recipe on the internet. APPARENTLY, all you have to do is roll out the dough, spread the berries on, roll the whole thing up jelly-roll style, and then slice and bake. OF COURSE! Blergh, sigh, eye-roll. Maybe I’ll try again next cherry season, but these will do marvelously until then!
- 2 1/2 c. flour
- 1/3 c. sugar
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 T. baking powder
- 2 T. chopped or ground loose earl grey tea leaves (or just cut open 5 tea bags like I did)
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 2 eggs, divided
- 1/2 c. whole milk ricotta
- 3 T. heavy cream (or milk)
- 2 c. tart dried cherries
- coarse raw or turbinado sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F).
- In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and tea leaves. Add the cold butter and work into coarse crumbs using your hands. Fold in the cherries.
- In another mixing bowl whisk together 1 egg, ricotta, and cream (or milk). Scrape into the dry mixture.
- Use a wooden spoon to combine wet and dry ingredients until a shaggy dough forms. Turn out onto a clean work surface and knead until dough is uniform. Shape into a 10-12" disk.
- Make an egg wash by whisking together the remaining 1 egg and 1 t. water. Brush over the top of the disk. Sprinkle coarse sugar liberally over the top.
- Slice dough into 12 wedges and carefully transfer to a cookie sheet.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden on top.