Berkeley Cheese Board Scones
Ellie came for a visit. We had been waiting for her for weeks. Ellie is Alan’s Father’s wife. I don’t think she has been out in 10-years – since our wedding. So much has happened in her life and in ours since then. Most notably – Bernie, her husband, Alan’s dad, passed away. He was a wonderful, interesting, charismatic man and my husband Alan loved him so much – so did Ellie. He died in his sleep. So peaceful. We haven’t seen Ellie in a couple years – the last time was when we were on our way to Cuba – with Alex and we stopped in Florida for a visit with her. We have been wanting to have her out for quite some time and it finally worked out. Ellie is amazing. She is 89-years old and lives in Boynton Beach Florida, surrounded by friends and a relative here or there. She’s still driving her car around and incredibly, she is still substitute teaching elementary school. Honest. She’s got all of her marbles. She is out-spoken, forward thinking, big-hearted, and a ton of fun. Ellie loves a good time. Alan and I just love and adore her and the spirit that drives her forward. She is irrepressible. Thanks for coming out to visit Ellie!
Having guests is always a wonderful reason to cook. But cooking has been kind of a problem for me lately because I’m on this very serious diet. Very structured. Pretty effective but I can’t eat some of the things that I love. And I can’t experiment with a lot of things that I might love because they’re just too fattening. I am determined to lose weight. But Ellie is here so I have an excuse and I have really been wanting to make these scones since I tasted them up in Berkeley at Karen’s house a few weekends ago. Karen’s brother Tom made them for us. Cruel. Evil in fact. The recipe comes from the Berkeley Cheese Board Collective which is an amazing place – with a great cookbook. It is a worker-owned collective and has been in existence since 1971. It’s current home is on Shattuck Avenue selling who knows how many amazing cheeses and delicious bakery items. They also have an espresso bar. Go there. It’s a destination.
This is their recipe. I cut it in half since the original makes something like 15 scones. What would I ever do with 15 scones – disposing of 10 is bad enough!
Berkeley Cheese Board Scones
(from the Berkeley Cheese Board Cookbook)
Preheat oven to 425°F. Place the oven rack in the center position. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat type mat.
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ tsp baking soda
½ Tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 cup sugar
¾ cups medium-grind yellow cornmeal
½ cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
Just less than ½ cup sweet dried cherries
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp buttermilk
Line 1 baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.
Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder into a large bowl.
Add salt, 1/3 cup sugar, and the cornmeal. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined.
Add butter and cut in with a pastry cutter until the size of small peas. Using the spoon, mix in the cherries.
Make a well in the center of the dough and add buttermilk. Mix briefly until ingredients just come together; loose flour should remain at the bottom of the bowl.
Let the batter stand for 5 minutes
Gently shape the dough into balls about 2 ¼ inches in diameter – but they should have a rough, rocky exterior so don’t squeeze them! Place the scones on the prepared pans about 2-inches apart.
Sprinkle the 1/8 cup sugar on top of the scones. Rough sugar is best.
Place the scones on the middle rack of the oven and immediately turn the oven temperature down to 375° F.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until scones are golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Serve warm or room temperature. Serve with butter, clotted cream, lemon curd, jam, plain. So good.