The Washer Up demanded scones yesterday. Yes, actually demanded I make scones. He pouted and said “I want scones” in a little boy stamping feet type way. Very strange behaviour indeed.
I obliged but decided I would try to veganize the recipe as he would only eat one and then I would be left staring at the rest, trying not to eat them. Veganizing scones is a little bit strange, I know. The whole point of scones is that they are buttery, and stuffed with cream and jam. These are a little bit different. They have roots in moorish Andalucia rather than a Devonshire tea room. That’s my excuse anyway.
I went to the weekly market in Alhaurin last Thursday with my friend Caroline. She told me about the amazing Frutos Secos stand there. They sell all sorts of dried fruits, nuts, seeds and herbs for reasonable prices. I wanted to get some dried figs for this pizza and needed some more pine nuts for our weekly favourite, this recipe. I couldn’t resist taking a picture of these beautiful fresh garlic on the veg stall next door too.
I bought, figs, dates, hazelnuts, pine nuts, and Moscatel raisins. They also sell this lovely local fig bread/cake (below left) that we used to serve at the restaurant with the chicken liver pate.
You can see where I am going with this now can’t you. I had some figs left over from the pizza recipe as well as the dates and hazelnuts. Cardamom seemed to go well with all those flavours but it could have just as easily been cinnamon. The Moscatel raisins would have been nice too.
A lot of the vegan scone recipes I looked at used olive oil or a butter replacement. I would definitely like to try it with olive oil next time, maybe in a savoury version of the scone with some fresh rosemary but I wanted this to be sweet. I went with coconut oil as my choice of fat as it has a slightly sweet coconut flavour and a buttery texture when it’s cold out of the jar. I wanted to see how it behaved in baking too. It turned out really well. You don’t miss the butter at all.
Fig, Date & Hazelnut Cardamom Spelt Scones
Makes 6 (easily doubled), vegan, wheat-free
Prep time: 10 mins Cooking time 15-20 mins
- 220 gr wholemeal spelt flour (or any flour)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cardamom (or cinnamon)
- 4 tbsp cold coconut oil (or very cold butter/ replacement, diced or olive oil)
- about 75 g-100 gr dried figs & dates roughly chopped
- 30 gr hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- the zest of half an orange
- 1 tbsp honey or agave syrup
- 115 ml oat milk (or other milk)
- 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 200 C and line a baking tray with parchment.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, cardamom and baking powder. Rub the coconut oil/butter into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles crumble mix. Then stir through the dried fruit, nuts and orange zest.
In a small bowl whisk together the honey, oat milk and cider vinegar and add this to the flour bowl. Stir together until just combined and clumps start to form, don’t over work it or the scones will be tough. Bring this together with your hands to make a ball.
Flour your worksurface and tip the dough out. Using you hands, pat this into a disc about 2 or 3 cm thick. Cut out circles using a floured cutter and place gently on the baking sheet. Do not push down or flatten. You will have to remould the excess dough into a 2-3 cm thick disc a few times to cut out all the scones.
If you like you can gently brush the tops with some oat milk and a sprinkling of sugar. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 15-18 minutes until golden brown and cooked all the way through.
Leave to cool slightly then serve warm or at room temperature with some butter/replacement.
These would be nice with my Arabian Fig Jam too, if only we hadn’t eaten it all. Roll on summer and the glut of fresh figs, I can’t believe I don’t have any jam!