I make lots of scones and lots of flavours of scone. They usually taste great (so I’m told). However, I had a rude awakening recently when I ordered a Cherry and Walnut Scone at a nearby cafe – the Blue Lagoon, near Wirksworth. It was astoundingly good. Moreover, it was a flavour combination that I’d never actually made. I went back a few days later and had another, which was also excellent. But, the recipe is a well kept secret and even though I’m a regular customer, on good terms with the staff and made a point of feeding the “tips” bowl on the counter, I couldn’t inveigle the secret from them.
So, I decided to make my own version and here it is – equally packed with juicy cherries and crunchy walnuts; equally crumbly and gnarled on the outside; equally astoundingly good. What a relief. If you’re a fellow sconoholic, you’ll love them.
A word about the title: I usually use the word “rustic” when my bakes go a bit wrong. Here, I wanted the scones rough and gnarled looking, so the “rusticity” is actually intentional.
Makes: I divided my mixture into 12, which gave good, moderate sized scones.
Level: Easy. It’s a “chuck it in and don’t do too much” type of recipe
Time: Providing you don’t faff* around (as I often do) you can be eating warm scones in well under an hour
Need: Not much, just a bowl, a couple of trays, a sieve and a wooden spoon. Oh, and an oven. One item you won’t need is a circular cutter.
- 450g/1lb Self-raising flour
- ½ tsp bi-carbonate of soda (US – baking soda, I think)
- ¼ tsp fine salt
- 100g/3½oz unsalted butter, cubed
- 75g/2½oz white caster sugar
- 200g/7oz glace cherries, most halved, a few whole
- 100g/3½oz walnuts, broken into pieces but still chunky
- 1 medium egg, beaten (+ a little more to brush on if you want to, or use left-over buttermilk)
- 180ml – 190ml (about 6½fl oz) buttermilk (if no buttermilk, use 170ml milk + 15ml lemon juice mixed)
1. Preheat oven to 210C / Fan 190C / 400F / gas 6. Line two baking trays with parchment.
2. Sift flour, bi-carb soda and salt into a large mixing bowl then rub in the butter. Mix in the sugar, cherries and walnuts. (Lightly flour your work surface now.)
3. Mix in the beaten egg and buttermilk. Bring it together into a rough, shaggy ball.
4. Dollop* it onto your floured work surface and fold it a couple of times. Don’t knead it vigorously.
5. Rather than using a cutter, simply tear off twelve roughly equal blobs* and place them on the prepared trays. Don’t spend time flattening or neatening them. Remember, the key word is “rustic”.
6. Place them apart on the baking trays and brush the tops with beaten egg or buttermilk if you want to. (Don’t slaver it all over them.)
7. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes. (I usually turn my trays around half way through and change shelves. Even in a fan oven this helps create an even bake throughout, but be quick to get that oven door closed again.)
8. When they’re done they should be golden brown and hollow sounding. Leave them on the trays for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool fully.
*My specialist terminology explained
Rustic – rough & ready, a bit gnarled, not pretty
Faff around – dilly-dally, waste time
Dollop (n) – a wet lump, often requiring two hands. (v) to drop unceremoniously
Blob – a smaller wet lump (in this recipe a 12th of a dollop)
I hope you enjoy baking and eating these scones. For more scone recipes click here. If you’d like to make a comment or ask a question please do, via the contact page, or have a look at the rest of my site for lots of other great sweet and savoury recipes.
Here are some more of my scones that you might like to try: