Well, I figured that, since we are smack in the middle of lavender season in the Northern hemisphere, it was time to share this recipe. A few years ago I was in the mood to bake something (as usual), so I played with a scone recipe I had been given, modified it a little and added lemon and lavender. Et voilá!
The photo above is possibly my very first food photo and dates back to 2007, but the recipe, which is simple and quick, has not been modified again so, here goes.
LAVENDER & LEMON SCONES
yields about 12 large scones or 20 smaller ones
– 250 gr (2 cups) flour + extra for the work surface
– 2 teaspoons baking powder
– 2 teaspoons baking soda
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 50 gr. (1/4 cup) sugar
– 1 & 1/2 Tablespoons lavender flower buds (organic, so non sprayed with pesticides)
– 3 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel (2-3 lemons depending on size)
– 63 gr. (1/4 cup) cold butter in small pieces
– 83 ml. (1/3 cup) milk
– 83 ml. (1/3 cup) sour cream
– 1 large egg, lightly beaten
For the topping:
– 50 gr. (1/4 cup) sugar
– 2 teaspoons lavender flower buds
– 1 egg yolk
– 3 Tablespoons milk
1. Infuse the milk with the lavender flowers: in a small saucepan, bring the 1/3 cup milk to a simmer. Remove from heat, add 1 & 1/2 Tablespoons lavender flowers, then cover and let sit until cooled to room temperature. If you do not want lavender buds mixed into the scones (as well as on the top), you can pour the cooled milk into another bowl through a fine sieve to remove the buds. Up to you. Then add the sour cream and mix.
2. Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lemon peel. Using a pastry blender or your hands (preferably cold), cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs or oatmeal. Make a well in the center of this dry mixture.
4. In a separate bowl, stir together the infused milk and sour cream and the egg. Add this milk & egg mixture to the dry mixture and stir just until moistened using a fork. Turn the whole thing onto a lightly floured surface and quickly knead it by folding and pressing gently for 10-12 strokes, or till it is nearly smooth. Do not overwork it. Pat lightly or roll the dough into the desired shape. Cut it into pieces of desired shape and size.
5. In a small bowl blend the egg yolk with the 3 Tablespoons of milk. In a separate small bowl, blend the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with the 2 teaspoons of lavender flower buds. Place the cut scones onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving a little space between pieces. Brush them with egg & milk mixture and sprinkle them with the sugar and lavender mix.
Bake for about 15 minutes or till the top is lightly golden. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool a little, then serve.
Scones are best served warm, and the classic accompaniment for them is clotted cream and jam. I would serve these with a citrus marmalade and mascarpone.
The scones can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.
If you do not have lavender in your garden or easily accessible at a farmers’ market, you can use culinary lavender that you can usually find at specialty food stores. When I don’t have lavender easily accessible in my neck of the woods, I use the one by Ali’i Kula Lavender on Maui.
All right then, now go bake and enjoy!