This gluten-free fruit scone is my husband’s all-time favorite scone, beating out any scone I used to make with gluten-based flours. You can use just about any fruit you like that will work in a baked recipe, such as berries, stone fruits or tree fruits, and the scone itself is tender and full of flavor. It works beautifully with either almond or tigernut flour, the choice depending on if you can eat nut-based flours like almond flour or need a nut-free option like tigernut flour, which is actually a tuber and not a nut, despite the confusing name.
I’ll keep this short and sweet as many of us will be gathering to celebrate Easter this weekend, and the point is to have something easy but amazing to serve at brunch or breakfast. Predictably, it’s another favorite scone recipe from Kim Boyce’s Good To The Grain, and I’ve adapted it as a tender and rustic grain-free version.
Root vegetables are a favorite of mine to use in the green smoothies I make. By substituting a vegetable for fruit, it lowers the overall sugar content of the smoothie. It’s also a way to make use of leftovers, as typically I throw in whatever mashed, puréed or roasted root vegetable I have on hand.
At long last I return to this small space on the world wide web. It’s been a nice break, and I needed it to find my balance after radically changing how I eat as a result of following the autoimmune paleo protocol. With the experience of three very different food jobs in three very different kitchens behind me, I’ve also realized that I like working best at a slow and meditative pace, alone, in the relative quiet of home. Of course there is the clanking of pans, the stirring of whisks, the sliding of drawers, and on and on, but it’s orchestrated by me and is a kind of music to the ears, a background to occasional moments of inspiration. Our dog, Hiro, keeps watch while perched on the couch where he can see me, when he’s not sleeping, as I’m working in the kitchen. He is not a fan of the music I make.
I’ve started baking again, experimenting with grain-free flours such as cassava, butternut squash, and arrowroot, among others, as well as more natural sugars like coconut, maple, and honey. These scones are the result of many half-batches of tweaking this and then that, and then trying something even more challenging by making them AIP-compliant, with an amazing result on the first try. Sometimes inspiration strikes, but not without laying a lot of groundwork.
Back in 2011, the Texas legislature passed SB 81, a bill that allowed certain foods made at home to be sold legally to customers. In 2013, HB 970, which further expands the list of foods and allows home bakers to sell their product at farmer’s markets, successfully passed the house and senate, and was signed by the governor on June 14. This past Sunday, September 1st, the Texas Baker’s Bill, a boon to the entrepreneurially-minded home baker, officially became law.
When things get heavy, it’s good to lighten up and change the regular rhythm of daily life a bit. It’s Spring, after all, or at least it’s trying to be, putting forth its best effort to shed the layers of winter and show itself off. I’m all for that, because it’s something like a make-over, of the earth as it were, and I love makeovers.
We recently bought a new waffle maker, having finally given up on the old one after several attempts at trying to produce a decent waffle. The old waffle maker had removable reversible plates, molded on one side to make square waffles, and smooth on the reverse side to function as a griddle or sandwich press. It was a great idea, in theory, and one that appealed to people wanting to cut down on too many one-purpose kitchen appliances (or to husbands who really like multi-function gadgets). And it would have been great in practice, but for the unfortunate result of waffle batter sticking to the waffle mold, and the finicky temperature knob, making the whole process a bit of an ordeal, and not necessarily worth the trouble.
Lately, for variety’s sake, I’ve been trying a simple homemade sunflower seed butter in my smoothies. For whatever reason, for me the sunflower seed butter tends to have a certain aftertaste I don’t like, making it a less favorable choice than the almond or cashew butter I also make at home. I don’t remember where I came across the suggestion to combine the flavors of chocolate and sunflower seeds, but when I did I filed it away for an opportune moment to experiment. Certainly, mixing chocolate with nut butters is fairly common, such as chocolate and hazelnut, or chocolate and peanut butter, but somehow I didn’t think it would work with sunflower seeds too. As it turns out, chocolate works very well; with a few other complementary ingredients, it nicely rounds out that pesky aftertaste, and then some.
The more food I make at home, the more I try to simplify or streamline the process. This means making the most of a few ingredients and yet still getting as much flavor as possible. Roasting is an easy way to intensify flavor in just about everything, and is a standard method in our kitchen for cooking chicken and vegetables. It’s also a great approach to cooking fruit, and the technique I use to make this pear and lavender butter. For the roasting temperature, I took Mark Bittman’s advice in How To Cook Everything Vegetarian, and then lengthened the time suggested to an hour to get a nice caramelization on the pears. The extra fifteen minutes was literally the golden ticket to flavor for the pears, creating a deep gold in the puréed butter.
As summer begins to wind down and school schedules start to wind up, it’s good to take every opportunity you can to enjoy what’s left of it and the flavors that suit it. Perfect to make for a weekend breakfast, the inspiration for these scones, adapted from a recipe in the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Catalogue, comes from the Cuban cocktail known as a mojito. With freshly ground soft spring whole wheat flour as a background, the scones have the double hit of fresh lime and mint, with a generous sprinkle of sugar topping, and really are reminiscent of the refreshing drink. Serve with a side of scrambled eggs to round things out, and enjoy what’s left of the lazy days of summer.