When it’s scone it’s scone
Or not a scone actually.
I’ve been searching for the perfect whole food or gluten free scone recipe for what feels like a lifetime. I have quite the obsession with afternoon tea, you see. An afternoon tea was my first ever public catering event back in 2013, an event I have repeated multiple times. I even have a pinterest board dedicated to it.
Many scone attempts I have tried in recent years were just too heavy on the almonds, whilst others just crumbled into nothing. Attempts so appauling that not even a smidge of butter, or clotted cream and jam could save them.
So, when planning for an afternoon tea cooking workshop I hosted for a hen do a a few weeks back, I was as determined as ever to get a scone like item on the menu for the first time. I came across some almond-coconut shortbread cookies in my Bauman College recipe book (the original recipe is adapted from Nourished Kitchen) and decided that these sandwiched with fruit compote and coconut yoghurt (the tea had to be dairy free, though I took the liberty of adding a smidge of butter when I trialed these at home as I’m like that) was the best I could get for now.
For my compote I opted for cherries, they go so very well with almond. I love cherries for many reasons, likely because they are also from the same family as apricots (my recent recipe star ingredient), but also because it’s a bit like my name – Ceri! In French cherry is cerise (phonetically pronounced Serise), so I can see where the confusion comes in, and also why I also get called Seri. Incidentally cherry etymology has Turkish routes back to 300 BC, and is said to come from Ceraus an ancient Turkish town.
Nutritionally, cherries are a rich source of flavonoids, and generally the darker the cherry the higher concentration of flavonoids & antioxidants. There are many different varieties of cherry available – from sour types such as montmorency (favoured for their high melatonin content) to sweet – and not all are as juicy and useable as a compote. I vividly remember the sour taste of the inedible cherries from the tree in our Surrey garden growing up, I can assure you that sweet cherries are preferable for eating!
Whilst cherries are beautifully in season in the UK right now, I actually chose to use frozen cherries in this recipe because I’m lazy and they come already stoned. However, if you do have the patience please grab a cherry piting gadget (or use this clever technique involving a pastry tip) and make the most of the local sweet cherries for as long as they are available.
Nutritional References taken from: Murray, The Encyclopaedia Of Healing Foods
- 260g Ground almonds
- 60g coconut flour
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 90mls honey
- 115g coconut oil, softened (or butter if not averse to eating dairy)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 400g frozen sweet cherries (or fresh and stoned)
- Preheat oven to 175 C.
- Mix together the ground almonds, coconut flour and salt until well combined.
- Add the honey, coconut oil and vanilla. Mix well until well incorporated (either using your fingers, a pastry cutter or 2 knives), bring into a dough.
- Split the dough in 2 and place 1 piece between two pieces of parchment. Roll with a rolling pin until ½ inch thick. Remove top piece of parchment and using small (2 inch / 5cm) circular pastry cutters cut out your shortbread. Continue till all dough is used (approx 28 cookies)
- Place biscuits on a parchment lined baking sheet, chill for at least 10 minutes then bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool before serving.
- Meanwhile place the frozen cherries in a saucepan over a medium heat, bring to the boil, and simmer until the cherries have reduced and are thick like compote. Transfer to a clean cool bowl and allow to cool off before serving
- Serve the shortbread with your favourite toppings, perhaps a smidge of butter, a dollop of coconut yoghurt and then a blob of the cherry compote.
What else would you add to an afternoon tea, do you have the perfect scone recipe and which flavour fruit compote or jam would you add? Here’s some more ideas of what you can add to your afternoon tea spread – gluten free (not necessarily healthy mind, since gluten free doesn’t mean healthy) from other food bloggers. Indulge sensibly!
- Two types of Scones; Gluten free scones 1 & Gluten free scones 2, perhaps pair that with a Blueberry & Bay Leaf Compote.
- Also traditional; Millionaires Shortbread or Raspberry Bakewell Tart.
- Less conventional but no less delicious; Spiced Hemp & Chocolate Chip Cookies, Peanut & Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Raw Chocolate Puffs, Vanilla Matcha Cupcakes.
What an afternoon tea that would be!
*If you are based in the London area and would be interested in a healthy afternoon tea cooking workshop either for a hen do or just for fun please get in touch by sending me an email – email@example.com