7 May 2016

LAVENDER BUTTERMILK SCONES

Let's not talk about April. Somehow it disappeared so quickly, and I was a little ashamed at the realisation that it's been six weeks since I shared a recipe here. It's good to be back, especially with a recipe that celebrates fresh, smoky lavender, which is so often misused in baking.

Lavender grows harmoniously alongside fruit and vegetable plants. While the stems, woody and resilient, stay above ground all year round, the fragrant purple flowers bloom in abundance in mid-Spring.

More commonly used for its scent, lavender also boasts an aromatic flavour which brings new dimensions of flavour to simple baked goods. Rich, buttermilk scones are the perfect base to help subtle lavender sing.

If you're reluctant to pepper your pale dough with the flowers themselves, you can bring the flavour of lavender to your baking by using homemade lavender sugar. Simply add a few sprigs of fresh lavender to your sugar jar, seal, and leave for 2-3 weeks to infuse before using.

This recipe is also available on Kitchen Garden Magazine's new website.
THE INGREDIENTS

225g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
50g unsalted butter
45g caster sugar
1 tbsp fresh lavender, finely chopped
150ml buttermilk or plain yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
Double cream, to serve

THE RECIPE

Preheat your oven to 220C (200C fan), and line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into cubes, then add to the flour. Rub the butter into the flour using your finger tips, until the mixture is sandy and resembles bread crumbs. Stir in the sugar and lavender.

In a second bowl, mix together the yoghurt and the vanilla. Make a well in the flour, and pour in the yoghurt. Use a round-ended knife to mix the dry and wet ingredients together, mixing until just combined. Tip the mixture out onto a floured work surface, and quickly bring it together into a rough dough. You should handle the mixture as little as possible.

Roll the dough to around 4cm in thickness, then use a round cutter to cut out 6 scones. Set these on the lined baking tray, brush with a little yoghurt, then bake in the preheated oven for 9-11 minutes, until risen and golden. Serve immediately with whipped double cream.

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