Blueberries and summer. I cannot imagine one without the other. It is virtually impossible. Beyond my control. The same way a certain scent, caught unexpectedly in passing, can- in a single heartbeat- transport you to another time and place.
Scents and tastes and memories link and embed themselves deep in the mushy hardware of our brain, micro-threading bits of life experience into electrical impulses that spark and conjure images and emotions that rival the blinking hot concept of time travel. Sun warmed wild mint, for instance, jolts me into my six year old body faster than you can wish for blueberry pancakes, tugging me into a swirl of loneliness and boredom I can almost taste, the heat and dust of a summer afternoon prowling a parking lot, looking for a tiny piece of shade apart from the bees.
In a perfect world I would have been blueberry picking, roused from innocent rumpled sleep before first light by a beloved grandmother or a tender hearted aunt, and given a small metal pail to fill, tasting every other silvery blue berry I picked, listening to my steady companion hum I'll Fly Away.
But I have no blueberry stories of childhood.
My picking days came later. As a young mother bending and reaching under a cobalt Cape Cod sky, plucking berries into buckets. Back then summer was forever woven with the fate of blueberries. Scattered on clean white scoops of yogurt in an antique bowl, baked into tender blueberry breads drizzled with lemon glaze (the cherished, hand written recipe given to me by an old friend, Cape Cod Kitty- it was her mother's famous blueberry cake), or bursting out of muffin tops glittering with sugar, and scented with cinnamon.
But the truth is I cannot rewrite my childhood. Nor change what is beyond my control to change. And I do not believe in destiny. I am not a fatalist. I do not believe in a master plan. I wrestle with mystery and meaning every single day, with nary a satisfactory answer in sight. It seems to me that nothing happens for a reason. And everything happens for a reason.
Because life is for learning.
And each day breaks with a fresh beginning.
So darling. What will you choose today?
Make it good.
Karina's Gluten-Free Blueberry Scones Recipe with Whole GrainsRecipe posted July 2011.
Scones are my favorite way to employ fresh, seasonal blueberries. Quick to make and bake, and sporting very little sugar, these gluten-free dairy-free scones boast several whole grains, plus rice bran for a touch of fiber. No white starches. The whole grain flavor is lightly nutty. The texture is far superior to scones made with all starches.
Prepare a 9-inch round cake pan by lining it with a circle of parchment paper. Set aside.
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup GF millet flour or GF oat flour
1/4 cup almond flour or hazelnut flour
1/4 cup quinoa flakes
1/4 cup flax seed meal or rice bran
1/3 cup organic sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup organic raw coconut oil
2 large organic free-range eggs, beaten
Up to 1/3 cup non-dairy milk, as needed
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract
3/4 cup fresh blueberries, washed, patted dry
In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients by whisking till blended (sorghum flour through nutmeg).
Add in the coconut oil and whisk or mix to distribute. If the coconut oil is solid, the flour should get a bit crumbly and sandy. If it is liquified, the dough will be wetter.
Add in the eggs and beat. The dough will be thick and stiff.
Add the non-dairy milk a little at a time and beat until you see the dough relax and become smooth and pliable. It should be slightly sticky, but not wet or thin. My dough took the full 1/3 cup liquid (and weather was humid). Use only the amount of non-dairy milk you need to get the dough to stick together. You may need less (or more) than I did.
Add in 1/2 cup of the fresh blueberries and mix briefly.
Scoop the scone dough into the lined cake pan and using oiled or wet hands pat the dough into an even round loaf. Press the remaining blueberries into the top.
Using a sharp knife, slice the dough to create eight wedges.
Set the pan aside and allow the dough to rest for fifteen minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375º F.
Think about sweet things.
Kiss your favorite person.
When the oven temperature is ready, place the pan in the center rack and bake for 20 minutes.
Carefully remove the scones from the pan and place them on a baking sheet.
Brush the tops with a little non-dairy milk and bake for another 5 minutes, or so, until the scones are firm and slightly golden around the edges.
Serve warm with your favorite vegan butter, jam, or honey.
Yield: Makes 8 scones.
Cook time: 30 minutes
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We thought these new scones were terrific. Better than the average gluten-free starch fest. Son Alex (who assisted me in photographing these delicious little bakery-worthy gems) said, "These are incredible! And this is coming from a not-crazy-about-scones person".
If you need to substitute alternative flours, please know that flour choices influence texture and baking time. Use medium weight flours to sub the brown rice, almond meal and millet flours. Starches will change the taste, texture and nutritional value.
I am currently avoiding FODMAPs (fructose, fructans, sugars and starches that are hard to digest).
I have not made these scones without eggs yet, but I have made other vegan scones in the past, quite successfully. If you need to sub the eggs, check out my other scone recipes for egg-free guidance.
I love the organic raw coconut oil I used in this recipe. It helped give these scones a delightful flavor.
And yes, this recipe will work using moo-cow dairy ingredients rather than the non-dairy I used. For more substitution help, please see my guide to baking with substitutions here.