Corn Cherry Scones

One sunny day a few years ago I headed to North Berkeley with my friend Steve. We went to The Cheeseboard to pick out some cheeses, strolled past Chez Panisse, and wound up at the flagship Peet’s for an afternoon coffee. It was a quintessentially Berkeley experience (and one I miss very much!)

While we were at The Cheeseboard, I picked up a corn cherry scone, which I thought sounded slightly odd…and then I ate it. It was the best scone I have ever had, and that is saying a lot, given my great love for this particular pastry. Eric laughed when I told him, a few years ago, that scones are my most preferred breakfast, but it’s the truth!

In spite of this great love, I had never actually made my own scones until a few days ago. A transformative experience! Two stars aligned to make this endeavor possible: 1) We have all kinds of awesome new tools, like our shiny red Kitchen Aid mixer, courtesy of our amazing friends and family, and 2) for my birthday last week my sweet husband gave me the Cheeseboard Cookbook! I was so excited when I opened it because I have been wanting it for such a long time!

And there on page 46, what should I see but my beloved corn cherry scones! So I broke in the Kitchen Aid mixer and our new Silpat (love!) and whipped them up. They did not disappoint!

I have been so happy to have a little taste of Berkeley here in Pasadena, and I have become a little obsessed with this cookbook–I also made one of their pizzas this week, which I will write about soon!

Corn Cherry Scones
Adapted from The Cheeseboard Collective Works

2 c unbleached AP flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2/3 c plus 1/8 c sugar
1 1/2 c medium-grind yellow cornmeal
1 c cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1″ cubes
3/4 c dried sweet cherries
1 1/4 c buttermilk

-Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place Silpat on baking sheet (or you can use parchment paper).
-Sift flour, baking soda, and baking powder together in the bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl.
-If using a stand mixer, add the salt, the 2/3 c sugar, and the cornmeal to the bowl and mix on low with the paddle attachment until combined.
-Add the butter and cut it in on low speed for about 4 minutes, or until it is the size of small peas. Mix in the cherries. Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk. Mix briefly, just until the ingredients come together; some loose flour should remain at the bottom of the bowl. Let the batter stand for 5 minutes. (If you do not have a stand mixer, simply mix the ingredients by hand, using a pastry cutter or 2 dinner knives to cut in the butter. Otherwise, the directions are the same.)
-Gently shape the dough into balls about 2 1/4″ in diameter (they should be have a rough, rocky exterior) and place them on the Silpat or parchment-paper-lined baking sheet.
-Sprinkle the 1/8 c sugar on top of the scones (this can be omitted if you want to cut down on sweetness).
-Place the scones on the middle rack of the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 375 degrees F. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the scones are golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
-Have a delicious breakfast! (Or afternoon snack with tea!)

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