Blueberry, Goat Cheese, Basil Scones: A Gluten, Cow’s Milk Free Recipe
Scones, I have learned, are quite versatile so I am frequently tempted to experiment with them. Making the time to do so is not an easy choice and I don’t do it often, but when I get to it the following conversation ensues: Him, “That’s quite a process.” Me, “But it’s worth it.” Him, “You’re right!” Me, “And you’re surprised?” Thankfully it ends with laughter!
My latest inspiration came from a little town named Traveler's Rest that we visited last fall. A restaurant called The Cafe @ Williams Hardware (because it is located in what was once an old-fashioned landmark hardware store) had a chef who was featuring a blueberry basil goat cheese pie. The servings were large enough for two to share and they were nothing less than fantastic.
Recently, I adjusted the basic recipe to make a gateau for a visit with neighbors. They seemed to love it, and I know we did. However, it was extremely rich--a bit much, really. On this rainy day I decided to try a filling for scones, and then I decided to work on a gluten free, cow milk free version of the dough recipe. One word describes the outcome: stupendouslyfabulouslydeliciouslyyum.
A Few Tips Before We Get Started
I used a combination of gluten free flours that you will see listed in the recipe. These days, they are easy to obtain. Keep in mind that any combination would probably work well, or that you could just use 3 cups of oat flour. I would not use garbanzo flour in this recipe as it would be too strong for our tastes.
When it came to kneading the scone dough, though, I went ahead and used regular white flour. We are not allergic to gluten, just trying to greatly reduce our intake and get the benefits offered by gluten free flours. If you need to avoid it completely, use oat flour for the kneading. Simply grind another 1/4 cup if you are making it yourself--it’s easy, use a coffee grinder!
Cow milk is something I am allergic to, so that is completely eliminated from this recipe. Coconut oil replaced the butter very nicely, but next time I might try using half coconut oil and half walnut oil. Almond milk is a good replacement for cow’s milk when baking, but you could also use goat’s milk as a replacement.
A whipped topping would be a great addition and there are some really good coconut milk topping recipes available on the web. I will be using cajeta (kah-HEH-tah) the next time I make these scones. If you are not familiar with cajeta, trust me, you want to be. See first one recipe for it and then another. :)
Rainy Day Scones:Click thumbnail to view full-size
What to Put in It:
- 2/3 Cup Blueberries, room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon Sweetener, organic sugar is great for this recipe
- 1/4 Cup Goat Cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 Teaspoon Lemon Juice, fresh is best :)
- 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon, Saigon, if you have it
- 1/8 Teaspoon Salt, Celtic Sea Salt is yum
- 1-2 Tablespoons Basil, depending on your taste
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Flakes
- 1 1/2 Cups Oat Flour, easily ground at home or store bought
- 1/2 Cup Flax Seed, ground to a flour/meal
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Flour, fresh ground or purchased
- 1/2 Cup Almond Flour, fresh ground or purchased
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 3 Teaspoons Baking Powder, we use aluminum free
- 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 3/4 Cup Coconut Oil, or other butter substitute
- 3/4 Cup Almond Milk, or other cow milk substitute
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 Large Egg
- 1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Zest, another reason to squeeze fresh juice :)
Rate this Recipe for Scones:
How To Make It:
- Preheat oven to 400º.
- In a small-medium sized mixing bowl combine blueberries, sweetener, goat cheese, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt.
- Mix in basil, then add coconut flakes and set bowl aside. (Coconut will absorb some of the moisture as this filling waits on you to make the scone dough.)
- In a large mixing bowl, sift/blend flours, sugar, baking powder, salt together.
- Cut the coconut butter into the dry ingredients by hand or using a tool designed for the job until the dry ingredients are in small-medium crumbles.
- In a small mixing bowl combine almond milk, vanilla, egg, and lemon zest.
- Pour liquid mixture into flour mixture and stir just until a soft dough forms. Dough should not be smooth, do not over mix.
- Turn dough onto floured surface and knead 7 times.
- Divide dough in half and place one half onto lightly floured baking pan. Gently press into a circle with a bit of a ridge around the outside edge.
- Spoon filling onto shaped dough and gently spread up to the rim.
- Shape the second half of the dough and place it on top of the filling, slightly sealing the rim to the top layer of dough.
- Cut circle in to 8 or 16 pie shaped pieces.
- Bake about 22 minutes. Check your oven for the right timing the first time you bake this recipe.
- Remove from oven and cool for 5-10 minutes. Serve immediately, or store in a loosely sealed container to serve later in the day. Refrigerate if not serving the same day. Bring to room temperature or slightly warm in oven after refrigeration.
Delightful Lemon Scones
The Outcome, the Upshot, the Final Conclusion
Okay, now it's confession time. My first dough was a little wet, therefore weak. The top dough fell apart on me when I tried to transfer it to the baking pan. It baked up okay, but it wan't what I was planning. I think I would add another 1/4 cup of oat flour to this next time, unless we were in very dry weather.
On the brighter side, the individual scones held together very nicely after baking. The thing that really matters, though, is that these scones are too, too good for our good. I portioned them out by wrapping them by twos and hiding them in the freezer. A little goodness over time solves the problem of too much goodness not being good for our health!
Hope you enjoyed reading about my rainy day adventure, and I hope you get to try out this recipe for scones with basil very soon. Let me know what you think of it!
If you use this recipe, would it be your first time to make scones?
A Note on Basil
This herb is very easy to grow and replenishing your plant population from cuttings is a snap. If you can use fresh basil it's well worth the small trouble of maintaining a basil garden. However, doing so is not always possible. Quality prepared herbs such as those provided by Frontier are a great alternative. I would not hesitate to use their sweet basil leaf in recipes if I did not have the fresh herb.