I love scones. I actually love breakfast treats in general, but the scone is my absolute favourite one of them all. Croissants or pain au chocolat are a tad indulgent, muffins are fine, good danish or sticky buns are few and far between, but scones! They’re the perfect vehicle for some jam and a most lovely accompaniment to tea. There’s a bake shop near my family’s home that sells really fantastic ones dotted with seasonal fruit. Really delicious every time, but with the usual unhealthy trappings of white flour, white sugar, butter etc.
I’ve been making my own flour lately in the blender. It’s actually sort of fun. You throw the whole grains in, watch them grind up and swirl around. Then when they stop moving towards the blade, you’ve got flour essentially. The homemade stuff is a bit more coarse than what you would buy, but in some baked goods that’s just what I’m after. I wanted to work the creamy sweetness of barley into a scone with some juicy fruit and warming spice.
I roasted some lovely prune plums with maple syrup, cinnamon and a smidgin of cloves, chopped them up rough and folded all of that juiciness into a wholesome, lightly spiced batter. These are a bit heavier than traditional scones, but still a delight. My plums were a teeny bit sour and played off of the creamy, sweet batter just right.
BARLEY SCONES WITH ROASTED PLUMS
adapted from the Babycakes NYC cookbook
serves: makes 6-8
notes: So in the Babycakes cookbook introduction, it advises on measuring everything (including liquids) with dry measures. This is key. Pour that oil and agave into the dry measuring cups!
3 prune plums (or any other type you fancy), pitted and cut into wedges
1 tsp melted coconut oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch ground cloves
1 cup barley flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/3 cup agave nectar (I used half agave, half maple syrup)
1/3 cup melted (liquid form) coconut oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup hot water
3/4-1 cup diced, roasted plums (this will depend on the size of your plums!)
For the plums: preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the plum wedges with the coconut oil, maple syrup and spices. Lay them out on a small parchment lined baking sheet and roast until soft, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool. Chop roughly once you can handle them.
For scones: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
Whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt and spices. Add the agave nectar, coconut oil and vanilla. Stir until a dry batter forms. Add the hot water and stir just until all of the flour is absorbed. Gently fold in the chopped plums.
Place 1/3 cup measurements of batter onto the parchment, rounding the edges slightly with dampened fingers. Brush the tops with coconut oil if you like. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let the scones cool on the tray for 15 minutes before eating.