I made it one of my goals this year to read more, as in read more books that weren’t cookbooks. It seems that every book I spend time with lately is a cookbook. Don’t get me wrong, I love looking at cookbooks, especially ones that are photographed beautifully, but I thought it was about time I ventured into other types of books.
Well, I suppose I am living up to my goal. I am currently in the middle of a book called Swamplandia!, though I have still been perusing cookbooks. I find myself revisiting ones I like so that I can admire the delicious photos and draw inspiration from them. One of the books I revisit often is Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain. I have several recipes bookmarked, but one that I wanted to take a crack at this past week was the strawberry and barley jam scones. Since I always try to do something vegan or gluten free (or both), I decided to use her recipe as a starting point and make them completely gluten free. I also knew I wanted to use up some dewberry jam, so I incorporated that into the mix. I almost went at this with all I had, making them both gluten free and vegan, but I had some stick butter to use up. Such is life.
To make the scones, you divide the dough in half, roll each half into a round, smear one with jam, and then place the other half on top. It’s basically a scone-jam sandwich and it’s oh so lovely. Since the dough has to chill at least 3 hours or so, you could make the dough the night before, chill it overnight, and then bake them off in the morning. But, it’s up to you.
Gluten Free Berry Jam Scones
notes: I used a dewberry jam, but any jam will work nicely as long as it is quite thick, almost like a preserve. If you use a runnier jam, it will spill out the sides and your scones will have too much moisture in them, thus rendering a sort of scone/jam puddle when they bake. So, be sure to use a thick jam or preserve. As for the gluten free flour mix, I currently make my own, using 30% starches and 70% whole grain gluten free flours by weight. Read more about it in this post.
2 1/4 cups gluten free flour mix, plus more for rolling the dough out
1/4 cup date sugar (or regular cane sugar)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. fine grain sea salt
1 tbsp. ground flaxmeal
1 stick very cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cold egg
1/2 cup rice milk + 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
about 1/2 a cup of thick berry jam or preserves
Mix the rice milk and vinegar together in a small bowl and set back in the fridge while you prep the rest of the recipe.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground flaxmeal, and date sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if mixing by hand). Next, add the cold butter and run the mixer, with the paddle attachment, on medium low until the butter has broken down into pea-sized pieces or smaller. If doing by hand, use your fingers to do this, or a pastry cutter.
Take the rice milk mixture out of the refrigerator and whisk in the egg. With the mixer running on medium-low, add the wet ingredients slowly to the dry and mix until the dough just starts sticking together and pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Dump the dough out onto a flour surface and knead it just a couple of times to bring it together. It should be sticky but it should also hold together. Pat the dough into a 1 inch thick circle, then cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.
When you are ready to make your scones, pre-heat your oven to 350F and line a large baking sheet with parchment or a silpat. Put the baking rack in the upper 1/3 of the oven.
To make the scones, remove the plastic wrap from the dough and dust your work surface with flour. Divide the dough in half, then roll out each half to about 1/4-inch thick rounds. They should be roughly the same size and shape. Once you have rolled the dough out, spread the jam out evenly on one of the rounds. Next, carefully place the other round on top and gently press down so the top piece of dough adheres to the jam. Using a pastry cutter dusted in flour, carefully cut the dough into 8 wedges like a pizza. Gently transfer each scone to your baking sheet, making sure to leave at least an inch in between each one. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes until tops are firm and edges are golden. When you remove them from the oven, allow them to cool for at least 20-30 minutes on the pan before moving them to a rack to cool completely. If you try to move them or pick them up right after they come out of the oven, they will fall apart.
If you are not enjoying your scones shortly after baking them, store them in an airtight container up to 3 days, or freeze the leftovers. You can thaw the frozen scones in a 300F degree oven. Enjoy!