This post is part of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network as part of the #GoTart campaign. I was compensated for my time and received free samples of the tart cherries mentioned. As always, opinions and content are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsored work I choose to feature.
You might’ve noticed a bit of a cherry theme this week. Partly because I have a ridiculous sized bag of frozen tart cherries in my freezer, partly because I thought it was a cute not over the top way to celebrate Valentine’s day/week and partly so we could talk a bit about tart cherries today.
I’ve been a fan of sour and tart foods pretty much since the beginning. You could find me drinking the balsamic dressing (we weren’t a bottled salad dressing kind of house) out of the bottom of the salad bowl or sucking on a lemon straight up as a kid. Ok, I still do the salad dressing thing, not gonna lie. The more it makes your lips pucker, the better. You couldn’t pay me to eat a Skittle. Sugary hard candy does absolutely nothing for me, but hand me a package of Sweet Tarts and I’m a happy camper. So hearing from the Cherry Marketing Institute that tart is going to be “in” this year is pretty damn exciting. Apparently, America is moving away from sweet (insert church choir cries of hallelujah here. If someone could send this memo over to Pinterest, I’d appreciate it) and the sour/tart flavor profile is taking it’s place.
This I can get down with.
Not only is the tart thing a nice change from the sickly sweet stuff that’s trended for far too long (in my opinion) but it can also be good for you. A sour taste in fruits and vegetables is often associated with more phytonutrient compounds and dried tart cherries in particular are a great source of vitamin A.
The cool thing about tart cherries is they’re incredibly versatile too which you hopefully saw from my posts this week. Paired with chocolate, they’re a nice balance of sweet and tart for dessert, paired with savory spice, they can make a delicious addition to dinner and then of course, they can also hold their own as the main flavor profile like in these balsamic cherry dark chocolate scones.
Sweet, sweet scones aren’t my thing. I love eating them for breakfast or with a cup of tea in the afternoon, not as a dessert. My favorite is when they have a hint of brightness in them from some fruit or zest and the tart cherries in these do just that. If you’re a sucker for sour like me, the balsamic glaze is the perfect addition. If you think that’s too weird (well, you’re crazy but whatever) just leave it off, you’ll still get plenty of tart shining through from the cherries that were reduced with the balsamic beforehand.
- 1 cup frozen tart cherries, thawed and halved
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1¼ cups whole wheat white flour
- ¾ cup oat flour
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup coconut sugar (or, organic cane/turbinado sugar)
- 4 tablespoons cold butter, diced
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup dried tart cherries, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
- cane sugar for topping
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a medium skillet over medium heat, combine the thawed cherries and balsamic vinegar. Cook down for about 10 minutes until the vinegar has reduced and thickened into a syrup and coated the cherries. Turn off heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.
- Whisk together the buttermilk and vanilla in a small bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and combine with a spatula.
- Spoon the cherries from the pan leaving behind the extra balsamic into the bowl. Add the dried cherries and chocolate chips and gently fold into the dough.
- Form a 9-10 inch circle with the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat.
- Using a wet knife, cut the circle into 8 wedges.
- Sprinkle the tops of the scones with the extra cane sugar.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the scones from the oven, using the knife, separate the wedges from each other so that they aren't touching and return to the oven for another 3-5 minutes until the edges are golden and crunchy.
- Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
- Use the remaining balsamic in the pan to drizzle over the scones before serving if desired.
The Cherry Marketing Institute is also hosting this beyond awesome giveaway that 1 winner will receive. It’s a $1500 value that includes a year’s worth of tart cherries and juice, a KitchenAid 7-quart mixer, a 4.5 quart Le Creuset dutch oven and an Anthropologie apron. Enter by using the rafflecopter widget below. Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on 2/27/14, open to US residents, 18+.