A Bridal Shower Tea: Dried Cherry Lemon Scones

2 cups flour
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup firm butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/3 to ½ cup buttermilk
½ cup dried cherries

Preheat oven to 425ยบ. Mix flour, sugar, lemon peel, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process in butter until mixture looks like fine crumbs. Add enough buttermilk so dough leaves the sides of the bowl and forms a ball. Stir in cherries.

Drop about 1/3 cupfuls of dough about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Brush with milk. Sprinkle with additional sugar.

Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until light brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Makes about 10 scones.

Cream of Tartar

This scone recipe calls for Cream of Tartar. Fortunately I had some in my cupboard this morning when I was mixing up the scones. I realized though that I had no idea what Cream of Tartar is. I turned to the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion for the answer. Here’s what they say: “Cream of Tartar is a natural ingredient, a fruit acid that accumulates on the inside of wine casks as the wine matures. It’s one of the ingredients that, along with baking soda, goes into baking powder. Cream of Tartar is often used to stabilize meringue, as its acid helps strengthen the proteins in the egg white, allowing them to trap more air as they’re beaten.”