As I snuggle up on my couch with a warm cup of tea, I once again breathe in the smell of freshly baked blueberry scones. Blueberry scones are not something to be whipped up at 9pm, especially on a Monday when most are reminiscing about the now seemingly long ago weekend.
Scones evokes coffee-scented mornings and afternoon tea in the sun, embodies ephemeral moments in the day. Blueberry scones especially have the unique ability to briefly put life on hold, allowing space to appreciate the simple things in life: the lovely bursts of tangy blueberries, brightened further by lemon zest and the perfect crunch of turbinado sugar.
To make things lighter and lactose-free, coconut oil and milk replace butter and heavy cream, creating an unintentionally vegan recipe for delightful blueberry scones. The coconut flavor does not overpower and in fact is barely perceptible; instead, it heightens the blueberry flavor.
A couple days ago, a beloved coworker of mine lost a loved one. In hopes of giving him even an iota of comfort and familiarity, I baked a batch of blueberry scones for him and his family to tide them through hopeless stretches of mourning.
This is why I bake: not for the sake of popularity or gaining friends, but to give others a little slice of happiness in their day.
Food for me, and many others, has a way of weaving my life experiences into something more discernible, more understandable and digestible; it grounds me in a way nothing else can. As chicken soup is nourishing for the soul, food not only feeds me but reminds me of a nostalgic past and a better, brighter future.
Every Monday morning, I bring a batch of homemade-somethings to work. With "eat me" scrawled with a sharpie on an electric blue post-it note and a sharpied heart slapped on for good measure-I leave the plate of baked-somethings discretely on the kitchen counter.
I don't make any big announcements, any office-wide email hailing the coming of a great cookie. Instead, I watch as coworkers pass by, at once delighted and somewhat dismayed that their healthy-eating new years resolution has encountered yet another hurdle.
These simple delights, these little slices of happiness that I witness on a bleary Monday morning, is also why I bake. It started out as a much needed creative outlet, but has now morphed into something more substantial and holds greater meaning in my life.
(Vegan) Blueberry Lemon Scones
adapted from seriouseats.com
YIELDS 12 scones
Cook time: 45 minutes
Adjust oven rack to the lower third rack. Preheat oven to 400° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a food processor, combine dry ingredients and coconut oil. Pulse until the oil disappears and mixture is a homogenous powdery meal.
Transfer mixture to a large bowl. With a rubber spatula, add in blueberries and lemon zest. Fold in coconut milk, making sure to not crush the blueberries. Combine until the dough is fully combine.
Divide dough into half, shaping each half into 7 inch squares. Refrigerate dough for about 15-20 minutes, until dough is firm enough to cut through cleanly.
With a sharp knife, cut each half of chilled dough into 6 wedges. The faster this is done, the less the dough will spread in the oven.
Liberally sprinkle turbinado sugar onto of scones before baking.
Bake until scones are puffed and slightly golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Serve while warm with a warm cup of tea (or milk).
450 g AP flour* (about 4 cups)
2 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
110g coconut oil (1/2 cup), room temperature (but not melted)
340g (2 cup) fresh blueberries**
2 lemons, zested***
450g full-fat coconut milk, stirred to combine if separated
turbinado sugar for sprinkling onto scones
*feel free to replace 1/3 of flour with whole-wheat, spelt, or oat flour
**thawed frozen blueberries work too; dough will be slightly stained
***try to get organic lemons for zesting to avoid any waxiness
Storage Notes: The dough freezes well; cut into wedges before freezing. Baked scones can be frozen as well. Reheat and serve warm.