Visions of sugar plum fairies waif through the air with these simple, seasonal and nutritional treats.
Scones, experience says, can be either bland as a dog biscuit or so chock full of sugar and butter that they consume a whole day’s food fulfillment. With this fresh take on the Scottish staple, seasonal, local and wholesome lead the way.
Full of vitamin C—just one plum (in season from the summer to early Autumn) contains 10 percent of the typical daily, recommended value—and vitamin A, these low sugar treats provide the perfect jam-and-scone-in-one blend. Part plummy, part citrusy, part caramely, the sugar plums bring a sweet surprise to tea-time or Sunday brunch.
Make these gluten-free as I have, and you’ll get the dietary diversity of millet, brown rice and sorghum flours—full of fiber, protein, iron and other critical minerals. Add walnuts, and you’re in store for an extra dose of fiber, protein, vitamin Bc (which helps your body convert protein into energy) and omega-3 fatty acids for a healthy body and complexion.
Beauty from a baked good? You just may be in luck.
The Original – Sugar Plum Scones
From Serious Eats
- 2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, diced
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup chopped prunes
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- about 1 tablespoon water
The Vegan & Gluten-Free Version – Sugar Plum Scones
Inspired by the above recipe and The Best of Vegan Cooking
Makes 6-8 scones
- 2 cups gluten free flour
- (3/4 cup sorghum flour, minus 2 tablespoons)
- (1/2 cup brown rice flour)
- (1/4 cup millet flour)
- (1/2 cup tapioca flour)
- (2 tablespoons almond flour)
- (1 tablespoon xanthan gum)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/3 cup + ¼ cup (for glazing) agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup cold water
- 1/3 cup oil (canola, sunflower or safflower are ideal)
- ½ cup walnuts (optional)
Caramelized Sugar Plums
- 4 fresh plums (a local, fresh variety of your choice)
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon rind
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon orange rind
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- To prepare the Sugar Plum mixture, thinly slice the fresh plums, removing the seed. Gently heat the coconut oil in a skillet, until dispersed across the cooking surface. Add the slide plums, the fruit rinds and juices, the sugar and vanilla extract. Mix together over medium heat, stirring often, for about 5 minutes until the plums are soft but still intact. Remove from the stove top and cool.
- Place the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) in a bowl and mix. Add the oil, ½ cup agave nectar, cold water and vanilla and mix for about 1 minute.
- Gently fold in the sugar plums and walnuts, if using.
- Form the scones by hand. Begin by dividing the dough into 8 parts. Then make each section into a ball. You can form a ball into either a circle, a square or a triangular shape, using your hands. Place on the lined cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with the remaining agave nectar, then return to the oven for 4 minutes, until lightly browned.
- Cool before serving & enjoy!
Images: Jennifer Barckley