Scones are my favorite treat. From the traditional to all of its modern evolutions, I love scones! Still, there are many people who don’t know what a scone is, and others know you can buy one at Starbuck’s. But did you know that they are the easiest things to make? Once, a Scottish treat made with the bare essentials of flour, baking powder, and salt (decadent days included currants), now, a full-blown decadent pastry! Well, almost. You can have your own batch, warm from the oven within 40 minutes!
One of my “problems” you may call it, is I go on obsessive binges. Sometimes, it is music, other times movies. Usually, there is some sort of cultural focus. I find a culture, whether I just met someone from that country or a new actor has caught my attention, and then I am off and running. I like to research the movies of that country, the music, the language…and then, I like to find flavors from other countries and try to fuse them into a scone.
Everyone has seen a blueberry scone, or a cranberry scone. So, I was interested in something different, yet not too crazy that people would be afraid to try. So, I took my latest cultural obsession, Sweden. The Scandinavian countries are known for their decadent pastries. I wanted to capture that decadence and put that in a scone. So, I needed to research traditional ingredients. With a shorter summer season, and such a long cold winter, the Swedes tend to like almonds. Almonds are not only healthy for you, they store easily. Also, lingonberries are native to Sweden. They are small red berries that are quite tart. In Sweden, they like to put lingonberries in jams to help preserve them for the long winter. In America, we usually can find lingonberry jam in European markets. Of course, you can find anything on the Internet. You really cannot substitute it with one of our berries, but if you had to substitute lingonberry jam with anything, I would use cranberry sauce. Of course, this recipe is not that exotic, it is only trying to capture the flavors of Sweden. So, you can essentially use any jam in this recipe.
So, I decided to make some scones for some local friends, that I like to call my “scone witches”. Unfortunately, my favorite food stylist and food photographer friend was not present to capture these scones with their visual beauty and show you the flavor and moistness of my newest creation. Over coffee, like most women, we chatted and gabbed about life, husbands and children. My scone witches all agreed. Of the four batches of scones I made today, that these were their favorite flavor combination. They are moist, flavorful and sweet.
Almond Scones Filled With Lingonberry Jam
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (or use 2 cups Gluten-free baking mix)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/3 cup almond paste
- 1/3 cup cold unsalted butter (or vegan margarine)
- 1/3 cup lingonberry jam (found at European grocery stores or use leftover cranberry sauce)
- 1/3 cup heavy cream (or vegan creamer)
- 1 large egg (or add ¼ cup more of vegan creamer)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- Sliced almonds to top
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Rub the butter and almond paste into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles small peas.
3. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, egg, and extracts. With a spatula, gradually stir the liquid ingredients until the mixture just starts to come together, reserving about 1 tablespoon of the liquid to brush the tops of the scones.
4. Divide the dough in half. Turn the both batches of dough out onto a lightly floured surface and very gently pat each into 8-inch rounds about ¾-inch thick.
5. Spread the lingonberry jam onto one round. Gently place the second round on top of the jam. Using a floured chef’s knife (or bench scraper), cut the dough round into 8 wedges. Transfer the wedges to the baking sheet, spacing the scones at least 1 inch apart. Lightly brush the tops of the scones with the reserved egg-cream mixture and sprinkle liberally with almonds.
5. Bake in the top third of the oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until the tops are golden. Transfer the scones to a wire rack to cool slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve warm.
Yields: 8 scones
© 2011 Jennifer A. Wickes All Rights Reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced without written consent from the author.