Almost vegan blackberry scones

LEAH’S NOTEBOOK:

*PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SKIP MY MUSINGS AND GO DIRECTLY TO THE RECIPE.

A mild and gorgeous Bay Area summer weather!

Hello, friends! I hope that you are having a gorgeous summer (or whichever season you are currently in). I am quite happy with the San Francisco Bay Area summer weather this year. While many parts of the United States (and the world) are sadly experiencing extreme weather (flooding or heat wave), San Francisco remains very mild. Even where I live across the Bay Bridge (about 20 minutes away from the City), our temperatures average high 50s to low 80s on a hot day! We consider 80s as hot for us here in this part of the Bay Area. Of course, we say that our summer does not arrive until early October for a week or two, then the temperature drops to welcome fall.

This summer was spent mostly with family

Aside from the weather report, my summer this year has been very busy with family events both on my side and Mr Sweetie’s. Since May, our weekends (and even some weekdays) have been filled with spending time with our parents. Yesterday was our first Saturday where we stayed home to rest. I also have some teaching projects where preparing the course work occupies my time outside of my regular full-time job.

There is really nothing special to report. No fun vacations or staycations. We are hoping to sneak a drive along the coast and vacation before the end of summer and beginning of fall. We got to go to a family picnic to send a niece off to college, went to my nephew’s 19th birthday party last Saturday; lots of Sunday lunch, shopping and hanging out with my parents, siblings and baby nephew as well a couple of weekday buffet lunches with my mom and dad after taking my dad to his routine doctor’s visits. All of these while enjoying the gorgeous (sometimes too hot) weather on their side of the Bay Area.

Still cooking and baking but no time to post

I have been reading a lot instead and spending time in my little garden every day after work. I am also still cooking a lot. Feeling frustrated that I cannot post what I have been making in my kitchen due to the busyness of life. I hope to have more time in late October after the last teaching job is over, unless I get another one.

The summer of the sweetest blackberries

And lastly, as always, my family’s gardens are blessed with so much produce. My mom has been sending me off with blackberries and all kinds of treats every time I visit. My mom would pick the blackberries as I was about to get in my car and hand them to me. They are the sweetest I have tasted in my life. I have been making scones with them and have frozen the rest to enjoy when summer is over.

Have a gorgeous summer and whatever is left of it. They say that it is almost the end of summer but hard to believe it as I am looking at my window right now. It is another gorgeous summer day and the bougainvillea is in full bloom while a white butterfly is playing happily among the flowers.

Have a gorgeous summer (whatever is left of it)!

Almost Vegan Blackberry Scones

I have made blackberry scones twice with the blackberries from my family’s garden. I used regular butter and buttermilk for the first batch that I made. Then I used vegan butter and oat milk for the second batch. Both turned out superbly. The scones were light and had the requisite scone texture but not dense like a cardboard. (So far from it!) Next time I will use vegan egg to see if it will work instead of using a regular egg. I will do an update. Please see my notes for more tips.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar (plus a little bit more for topping, if desired)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) frozen unsalted vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup oat milk
  • 1 large egg
  • About 3/4-1 cup fresh blackberries

For Non-Vegan Scones

Use buttermilk or yogurt for oat milk and dairy butter for vegan butter ( 1:1 substitution).

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Adjust oven rack to middle position.
  2. Prepare a large baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Grate the frozen butter using a box grater.
  5. Using a pastry blender (two forks or your hands), incorporate the vegan butter into the flour mixture until it resembles a coarse meal There should be few small crumbles of butter the size of peas.
  6. In another bowl, whisk oat milk and egg.
  7. Add the flour mixture to the butter and egg mixture using a rubber spatula mixing until a crumbly dough forms and the flour mixture is fully incorporated. Work the sticky dough into a ball. (Yes, the dough is going to be sticky!) Do not over mix.
  8. Gently stir in the blackberries allowing some of the blackberries to be crushed into the batter while leaving some whole.
  9. (Optional but highly recommended: Place the dough in the refrigerator or freezer for about 15 minutes to ensure that the dough is cold again.)
  10. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough until it just comes together. (Knead up to 5 times).
  11. Form into a medium-size circle. Cut into 8 triangles using a sharp knife. If you prefer round scones, use a biscuit cutter.
  12. Place scones onto the baking sheet and lightly sprinkle with sugar (if desired).
  13. Bake until light golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.
  14. Cool for few minutes before serving.

MY NOTES

  1. The secret is FROZEN BUTTER. This is really important for the scones to form. A couple of years ago, I followed a really bad recipe that instructed to use melted butter for the scones. My scones melted right before my eyes like snow on a hot day. I ended up making a loaf bread out of the batter!
  2. Dough will be sticky. If it’s too sticky, sprinkle a little more flour. If it seems too dry, add 1-2 more tablespoons of oat milk.
  3. Freeze After Baking: These scones are perfect for freezing after baking. Cool them down first before freezing.
  4. Reheat in an air fryer: I just popped the frozen scones in the air fryer for about 4-5 minutes. It was as good as it was first baked. (Or reheat in the oven until hot being careful to not burn. Reheat at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes.)

BRANDS I USED

*This is not a sponsored post. My posts are free of commercial sponsorship.

I have been learning that using different brands in baking and cooking can possibly produce different results. These are the brands that have worked for me in producing successful results in baking and cooking:

  1. Vegan butter: The only brand that I have been using for vegan butter is Miyokos. This creamery is based in the Bay Area. It is indeed phenomenal. I have used it for baking and as a spread. The results are consistently wonderful as if I have used regular dairy butter. It is on the pricey side but the results and health benefits (eating plant-based food = more heart-healthy/less cholesterol) are worth it.
  2. Oat milk: My go-to brand for oat milk is Trader Joe’s. I use it for my tea, baking and even making Mr Sweetie’s Saturday French toasts. I tried other plant-based milk but oat milk is what works for me in terms of texture, consistency and taste.
  3. Just Egg: Even though I have not tried using Just Egg in baking, I just recently discovered it and I am madly in love! Unless I want my crispy fried eggs, I use Just Egg when making scrambled “eggs.” I will try it in baking next time and will update this post.

The verdict from friends and family about these plant-based products: My carnivore friends could not tell the difference between real scrambled eggs and Just Egg. Mr Sweetie to this day could not tell the difference whenever I use vegan butter in baking. Oat milk will not taste like real milk but I find that it is an adequate and superb substitute for cow’s milk in baking and even as a creamer for my tea.

Did you make ALMOST VEGAN BLACKBERRY SCONES? Please let me know by leaving a comment below.

4 responses to “Almost vegan blackberry scones”

  1. This is a really beautiful looking desert! I like that you’ve used so many blackberries in it – how awesome it must be to have a source of fresh produce right in the family!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! It turned out lovely and delicious, too. I have always been intimidated to bake scones but now I know that the secret is frozen butter! And I am grateful that my family can grow abundant and organic produce as well. 🙂

      Like

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