December 24, 2008

In the Kitchen: Scones for a Brunch or a Tea

I started making lavender scones this summer after a visit to Sunshine Lavender Farm.

My new tin of Provence Culinary Lavender arrived just in time for holiday baking!

This popular recipe was first featured on my blog a few months ago. Since I'm ready to bake more scones, I decided to publish the recipe again for the holidays.

I adapted a tried-and-true scone recipe to create these lavender scones. The original recipe for cranberry scones came from my best friend, Betsy Livak.

On several of my visits with Betsy (many years ago), she made her scones for me. In fact, those were the first scones that I'd ever tried! I have fond memories of our chats over scones and tea. We've been best friends for almost thirty years. Since Betsy is in California and I'm in North Carolina, we don't get to visit each other very often. When we have a rare opportunity to visit, we pick up right where we left off!

To make these lavender scones, I just substituted lavender and omitted the cranberries. That said, I highly recommend making these scones with cranberries, too. Either way, you will not be disappointed!

Lavender Scones

Makes 1 dozen scones
Preheat oven to 400°F

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (substitute whole wheat if desired)
1/2 cup sugar (I use turbinado sugar or organic cane instead of refined white)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 tablespoons culinary lavender

3/4 teaspoon salt (I use Kosher or sea salt)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon grated orange zest (I use a microplane)

1 cup buttermilk (lowfat is okay)

  1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lavender in a large bowl.

  2. Add butter and beat with an electric mixer (or pastry blender) until well blended.

  3. Stir in zest *.

  4. Pour in buttermilk and mix until blended.

  5. Gather dough into a ball and divide in half (I use a knife).

  6. On lightly floured surface, roll each half into a circle.

  7. Cut into wedges.

    I make mine thick so that I get 6 scones (pie shaped wedges) out of each half. I use parchment paper to reduce the amount of flour needed. I also tend to hand shape, rather than roll the circle. I cut the wedges with a sharp knife. I gently tap the 3 sides of the scones on the parchment to make smooth edges.

  8. Place scones on lightly greased cookie sheet.

  9. Bake in preheated 400° F oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden.

  10. Serve warm or cooled.

*Original recipe: You can omit the lavender and use 3/4 cup dried (or fresh) cranberries.

If using the fruit, add it with the orange zest, just before the buttermilk.

Serving suggestion: Serve with preserves or lemon curd. If you live in the United Kingdom, you have real clotted cream!

Left-overs: Wrap a scone in a slightly damp paper towel and microwave for 15 seconds if you like scones warm. Most scones are served at room temperature.

Reduced recipe: I have made 1/2 recipe and it worked out just fine.

Photos and scones by Freda Cameron. Lavender from Sunshine Lavender Farm. Recipe adapted from Betsy Livak's Cranberry Scone Recipe
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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