amaretto soaked cherry and almond scones, gluten free

If you love almonds as I do, then you have to make these.  They are tender, buttery, and packed with delicious almond flavor and plump amaretto soaked cherries.  And these scones all came about thanks to the gluten-free ratio rally.

This month's rally is hosted by the fabulous Lauren aka Celiac Teen, and the topic is scones. In case you haven’t heard about the rally, it is based on the concept that each type of baked item has a particular ratio of flour, liquid, fat, and egg. These four things vary depending on what you’re making. For example, a muffin can be more of a batter, and might have a higher ratio of liquid than say, a bread dough.  And once you know the ratio you should be able to make substitutions, swapping out brown rice flour for buckwheat flour, or apple juice for water etc. The possibilities are endless. Kinda neat, huh? Since the concept was new to me, I decided to head up to my grandmother’s house for some moral support. My grandmother is known for creating some wacky dishes (like her apple and cheddar crumble for example), but I like to think I inherited some of her creative cooking spirit. I also love cooking with her because she generally supports any strange baking project I’ve got going on and she provides honest feedback. So cooking with her and in her kitchen was the perfect atmosphere for my first ratio rally recipe.

After playing around with a couple different recipes, the ratio I liked best was a 3:1.5:1:1 (flour:liquid:fat:egg). That is for every part of fat and egg, you add 1.5 times as much liquid and 3 times as much flour. In my tweaking of the ratio I decided that I would count the heavy cream as a fat (with the regular milk as a liquid) and the finely ground almonds I counted as part of the dry. Anyway, I plan to do a second version soon and will report back on how it turns out if I use the same ratio to make a different flavored scone! In the meantime, I do hope you try this recipe as it is one of my new favorites!

Amaretto Soaked Cherry and Almond Scones

Makes ~ 10 scones

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 2/3 cup amaretto
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (170 g) blanched almonds, toasted
  • 2 tbsp (24 g) sugar
  • 1 c / (165 g) gluten-free flour mix of your choosing
  • ¾ c (106 g) almond flour + 2 tbsp for dusting
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp guar gum* note: I found the scones held together better and were less crumbly with the addition, but you can leave it out if you like!
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 c cold heavy cream
  • 1/3 c cold whole milk
  • ¼ tsp pure almond extract
  • ¼ c sliced almonds, for topping

Instructions

These scones are best prepared in stages. They can even be made and kept into the frozen until ready to use. In fact, keep all ingredients cold whenever possible. Fill a jar with the cherries and enough amaretto to cover them. Cover and let rest overnight.  Place a stick of butter in the freezer. Once frozen, grate butter into a Ziploc bag. Work quickly and return grated butter to freezer.

Toast almonds in a pan on medium-low heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Divide almonds in two. Use a food processer to grind half of the almonds with sugar. Take care not to over grind or you will end up with almond butter! Rough chop the remaining toasted almonds. Mix together ground almonds, chopped almonds, gluten-free flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt, and guar gum. Lightly toss the grated frozen butter in with the flour. Once coated, place bowl in freezer while working with the other ingredients.

Strain cherries from the amaretto and place into a bowl (by the way, I discovered the leftover cherry juice and amaretto made for a wonderful champagne cocktail!!). Add egg, heavy cream, milk, and almond extract and stir together. Remove flour and butter mixture from the freezer and stir in wet ingredients until just combined. Lightly dust some parchment paper with almond flour and turn out dough. Using floured hands shape into a log 3 to 4 inches wide. Lightly press sliced almonds into the top of the log. Cut scones into triangles, wrap loosely in the parchment paper, and return to the freezer. Ideally, these should sit for about 4 hours so that the butter is nice and cold. This yields the flakiest scone. 

Once you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place the frozen scone triangles about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes. These scones are best enjoyed standing in the kitchen with your grandma noshing straight from the [cooled] pan. We slathered cherry jam on them for an extra boost of flavor and sweetness. If you plan to keep the scones, store them in an airtight container and freeze for up to two months. The scones can be reheated in a 350 degree oven.

Can't get enough scone recipes? Check out what the other ratio rally-ers made!

Comments

very pretty scones... and the combo sounds delightful. i'm always a sucker for almond. thanks for sharing!

You had me with the title. Amaretto-soaked cherry ... Almond is one of my favorite flavors of all time. I love it even over vanilla, and I adore vanilla. These are incredible!

I adore anything with almond flavoring--and amaretto? C'mon! These are beautiful.

Amaretto soaked cherries sound divine in your almond scone recipe, what a great combination!

Oh what a wonderful combination, those sound and look incredible!

Loving the combo of cherry and amaretto! Must get my hands on some of that blanched almond flour too :)

your scones look fabulous! I can never find enough places to put dried cherries. and almond too, and amaretto - can't wait to try these.

Anything soaked in amaretto makes me happy. I love how plump and happy those cherries look after that bath! Those would be sold out in two minutes if you had them in the bakery. Yum. And yay for your grandmother.

What a great flavor pairing you choose for your scones! Almond and cherry are always perfect together, in my book. Welcome to the Ratio Rally! So glad you joined!

Vijitha, Yay! I'm glad you enjoyed the scones. Looking forward to hearing how yours turn out. You might even be able to sneak in some cardamom. :)

This looks really amazing! I want to try the combination of the cherry and amaretto. Also, I just wanted to say that you do wonderful photography! :D

Hey Charissa
I loved your scones today, so I am sure this one will be super deliocious and I am going to try this for the memorial day weekend party :-) Will let ya know how it came out.
See ya soon

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