Thursday, August 23, 2018

Summer Scones, Prelude to Autumn

As the crisp air at night and early mornings greets us, it’s time. Are you craving warm foods for breakfast or dessert? Instead of baking an apple pie or cake, I decided to start slowly, like inching my way into the cool pool water when swimming. So, we’re going back to Sconeland, a place where you can enjoy a sweet and savory homemade pastry with the colors of pre-autumn at Lake Tahoe.

One September I munched on a scone purchased at one of the airport cafes while traveling to Vancouver, Canada. I was clad in Tahoe-type fall attire when I arrived in a strange place where the air was warm and semi-humid. Ironically, people were wearing shorts and sandals. All I could think of was, “Why did I flee our mountain town during a surreal time of changes in weather with a mix of two seasons.” Chilly mornings and late nights combined with and sunny days. I rolled up my jeans, wore T-shirts, and walking shoes without socks. I promised myself I’d bake home-style scones in the cool morning while enjoying afternoon activities with blue skies and sunshine.
So, this week I used my Granny Smith apples, walnuts and raisins (meant for chunky oatmeal cookies but I changed my mind). Here, take a look at the British Columbia-inspired recipe for scones infused with both summer and fall foods.
2 ¾ cups cake flour, sifted
¼ cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk, premium brand
2 teaspoons maple syrup
¼ cup tablespoons European style butter, cold, cubed
1 cup Granny Smith or Fuji apples, cored, peeled, chopped
½ cup golden raisins
¼ cup walnuts, chopped
Lemon rind, 2 tablespoons
Whole wheat flour (for shaping dough)
3 tablespoons raw sugar and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (for topping)
In a bowl combine flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Add buttermilk and syrup. Fold in butter, fruit, nuts, and rind. On a floured cutting board mold the dough into a circle. Place on a plate and put into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Remove and slice the circle like a pizza into triangles. Place on un-greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar cinnamon mixture. Bake scones in a 425 degree oven for 18-20 minutes or until bottom of scones are light brown. Do not overbake. Makes 6 scones.
Serve with local honey or summery organic berry jam. Using cake flour gives these scones a light cake texture. (You can use all-purpose flour for a crunchy cookie type bite.) The sweet bursts of apple bites and chewy nuts and raisins with warming cinnamon notes are super staples of autumn eats. The fresh citrus complements a flavorful harvest time scone in between two seasons. These are perfect for breakfast and hot coffee or an afternoon snack with iced tea. You choose.
Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, and Superfoods) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is

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