August 21st, 2008

Marionberry Lavender Scones

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Berry week! It’s like shark week, except more delicious. But I swear to god it’s just as dangerous. At our berry picking expedition I was stung by a hornet, pricked with thorns, tripped over a vine and scabbed at least one knee.

The other weird thing about berry week is that it begins on Thursday, skips the weekend and then continues on Monday. It’s more a berry business days.

Our first recipe is for Marionberry Lavendar Scones, and now that the weather is cooling down a bit for most of us, why not bake a dozen on Sunday morning? Lavender always seems like a foofy kind of ingredient, only suitable for the kind of person that talks about the “legs” on wine and the hickory undertones of chocolate. But, really, it’s just a nice fragrant taste that is the perfect backdrop for sweet tart berries. If you can’t get your hands on any, try 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped rosemary instead.

Scones are kind of a pain in the butt if you’re making them into triangles, so just do the scoop and drop method with these. They’re light and crumbly like a scone should be, and the batter isn’t too sweet but the light sprinkling of sugar on the tops is a perfect little sweet roof to bite through. We had to trudge through the mud to get the last of the marionberries so they might not be available everywhere right now. In that case, you can’t go wrong with blueberries, blackberries or raspberries.

Thanks to my berry cohorts, Kimmy Kokunut and Veganknitting! In the next few days, their recipe for Blueberry Ginger Jam. Kimmy actually did most of the work for these scones, I just closely supervised.

Marionberry Lavender Scones

Makes 12 scones

1 1/4 cups almond milk (or your non-dairy milk of choice)

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

3 cups flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

1/2 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup fresh culinary lavender, chopped

1/2 cup non hydrogenated shortening

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups marionberries, or berries of your choice
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper. Measure out the milk and add the vinegar to it. Set aside to curdle.

Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the shortening in small clumps, then use your fingers to cut it into the flour until it appears like small pebbles. (You an also use a food processor for this, but I prefer to use my hands.) Mix in the lavender.

Create a well in the center and add the soy milk, oil and vanilla. Mix with a wooden spoon just a bit, then add in the berries. Mix again until everything is moistened, but don’t overmix. A couple of dry looking spots are just fine.

Use a 1/4 cup measuring up to scoop the scones out on to the baking sheet. Spray it wth cooking spray first so that the batter comes out easier.

Sprinkle tops with a bit more sugar, then bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until tops are firm to the touch and lightly browned. Serve warm!

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