plum and cream scone cobbler

A scone with a plum and cream topping.

This recipe for “cream scones” is a traditional British dish. It is made with plums, cream, and sugar.

Any ripe stone fruit will work here; my personal favorites are peaches, cherries, apricots, or a combination of those. Change just the weight. The sugar content is given as a range, but I want to make it quite obvious that using just 1/2 cup would result in an extremely sour cobbler that is almost certainly not suitable for everyone. It will taste a touch harsh on its own but contrasts well with vanilla ice cream. I assure that the 2/3 cup level won’t be excessively sugary.

    • Unpitted, fresh, ripe plums of any type or other stone fruit, weighing 2 1/2 pounds (1.15 kg).
    • Lemon juice from a half
    • 100 to 130 grams or half a cup of granulated sugar (see Note)
    • 3 tablespoons (25 grams) of tapioca flour or starch or 4 tablespoons (30 grams) of cornstarch
Crumb topping
  • all-purpose flour, plus enough for the counter, 2 cups (260 grams
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 50 grams (or 1/4) cup) of granulated sugar
  • 1 kosher salt tsp.
  • Cubed 1/2 cup of unsalted butter (8 tablespoons, 4 ounces, or 115 grams).
  • One teaspoon of vanilla essence or half a teaspoon of almond extract
  • 225 grams (about one cup) of heavy cream, split
  • 15 grams of coarse or turbinado sugar per tablespoon

400°F oven temperature. Slice the pitted and quartered fruit into 1/2-inch pieces. Place in a 9-by-13-inch or similarly sized baking dish, then top with a mixture of cornstarch, sugar, and lemon juice.

Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and granulated sugar in a large basin. Add butter and break it up into tiny bits with your fingers or a pastry blender until the biggest pieces are the size of small peas. Since you are adding 15 tablespoons of heavy cream, along with your choice of almond or vanilla extract, whisk the butter-flour mixture until bigger masses form. If necessary, use your hands to kneel once or twice.

Turn dough out onto the counter after flouring it. The dough should be generously rolled out to a thickness of 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) using flour on the top. Slice the dough slab into 1 1/2-inch (3.75-cm) squares using a knife. Place squares, spreading them slightly apart, over the fruit in the pan. Sprinkle coarse sugar and the remaining 1 tablespoon heavy cream over the tops of the scone squares.

Until scones are fluffy and golden on top and fruit is gushing juices up around the pan, bake cobbler for 40 to 45 minutes.

If you can stand it, wait 15 to 20 minutes before cutting into the cobbler. As fruit cools, it will thicken. There is no substitute for serving with a generous dollop of vanilla ice cream on top.

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