Last weekend I was up in Woodstock, Vermont, in this beautiful rental house.
I had brought up a bunch of frozen strawberries to garnish a cake with, but they got a little travel soggy, so what did I do? I turned them into jam, of course!
Actually, truth be told, I’ve never made jam in my life. I always thought I would need pectin and caster sugar, but here I was, holding a bag of thawed mushy strawberries sliding around in their own red liquid. I was in a rental house and there was definitely no pectin, but if I have one rule in life, it is to not waste food, ever. So, what the heck, I dumped the strawberries in a pot. Well, long story short, I will be making these a LOT from now on.
To start, simply smash 2 cups of thawed or fresh strawberries in a small pot over medium-low heat. I used a potato masher of all things, but it worked like a charm. Add a pinch of orange zest and a couple spoonfuls of sugar to taste. Raw sugar is the way to go! Let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes or so, stirring frequently, then put it in the fridge to chill. While I wasn’t watching, someone dug in with a spoon. Guess that means it was super nummy!
Now that I had this giant bowl of luscious preserves, what was I going to eat it with? Unlike some people, I am not of the habit of eating it straight. So I made scones! Because I love homemade scones. These are not at all like the flavorless dry lumps that turn into a paste in your mouth. Nope. These are moist and bright, with a tender crumb. We inhaled half the batch for breakfast. Leftovers can be stored for quite a few days, and are so good toasted. Most importantly, don’t skimp on the preserves!
LEMON ZEST SCONES
adapted from Sprouted Kitchen’s Date + Pecan Scones
Whisk oat flour, oat bran, almond meal, all-purpose flour, dark brown sugar, baking powder, and chopped dates together in a large mixing bowl. I used a gluten-free all-purpose baking mix because I’m currently testing out different store-bought gluten free blends before creating my own. I have to say the Arrowhead Mills gluten free all purpose baking mix worked pretty well in this recipe (it did not fare so well when I tried to make pierogi dough with it… I should have heeded the label “baking mix”).
Next, whisk an egg with some light cream in a small mixing bowl and set aside. I chose to use light cream instead of heavy cream because the almond meal in this recipe already provides some good fats. I didn’t have a food processor on hand so I used a grater to turn butter into these beautiful curly shreds, then quickly mixed them into the flour.
Zest in the rind of a lemon, like so.
Now pour the egg and cream into the dry mix and stir to combine. Do not overmix! You should have a slightly wet but intact ball of dough. On a cutting board, pat down the dough so it’s about 1 inch thick, then slice into triangles/rectangles. Whatever shape you like! With a spatula, lift the scones onto the parchment lined baking sheet and pop it in the oven for 15-18 minutes. My oven likes to burn things in the back, so I rotate the baking sheet after 10 minutes. You know your oven best. Take them out when they are golden brown on top. Let cool for a few minutes, then EAT. They are best piping hot with cold strawberry preserves.
adapted from Sprouted Kitchen's Date + Pecan Scones
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Whisk oat flour, oat bran, almond meal, all-purpose flour, dark brown sugar, baking powder, and chopped dates together in a large mixing bowl. Grate butter into the flour mixture and quickly mix to coat the shreds of butter. Zest in the lemon rind.
- Whisk egg and cream together in a small bowl and pour into the dry mix. Stir just until it combines. Do not overmix! You should have a sticky but intact ball of dough.
- On a cutting board, pat down the dough so it's about 1 inch thick, then slice into triangles or rectangles. Whatever shape you like! With a spatula, lift the scones onto the parchment lined baking sheet and pop it in the oven for 15-18 minutes, rotating after 10 minutes.
- Take them out when they are golden brown on top. Let cool for a few minutes before eating.
I don’t think you should overlook the benefits of eating a spoonful of preserves, for instance the nummy taste it has in your mouth is second to none.