Clara Gluten Free

Strawberry Scones

I had the brilliant idea to make strawberry-coconut muffins for my brother. Except, he doesn't like coconut and requested scones instead. So strawberry scones it was. 

After asking him what sort of scones he wanted, I faced a tall order: crumbly on the outside, squishy within, and tasting like strawberry but not too much like strawberry. The best way to achieve this turned out to be following a sort of pastry-like method instead of a muffin-like method: cutting in butter, folding dough, in order to achieve a lightness in the texture, and delicately handling temperamental dough in order to end up with a positive yield of scones....rather than dump-and-stir, which is nice...for muffins. As a result, my recipe is filled with turns and folds and rolling-out, since I wanted to layer the butter and strawberries. 

I ended up sticking with my original plan for coconut flour, because I needed something to absorb the fluid of the strawberries, and I wanted the fiber and protein of the coconut flour to hold the scones together, a plan which I also tackled by kneading the dough a bit. Then, tapioca flour made sense to keep the texture lighter and cohesive, rather than crumbly. All this was leavened with baking powder and baking soda, partly because these two beat out yeast in my books and scones are descended from soda bread- at least the scones I know. I added a touch extra xanthum gum to bind the dough, since I did not want the gluey-ness of an egg, but I did use an egg was to glue the outside of the scone in.  I guess that makes these scones the Amazing Inside-Out Strawberry Scones. Which is neat-o. 

Strawberry Scones- makes 18 scones

1 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup half-and-half
3 tbs lemon juice

2 cups coconut flour
1 cup tapioca flour
3/8 cup white sugar
2 tsp xanthum gum
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter, cold and chopped into small segments

1/2 cup diced dried strawberries

1 cup frozen strawberries, defrosted, and mashed
1/8 cup sugar
1/8 cup tapioca flour

3/4 cup tapioca flour

1 egg
1 tbs water
~ 1/4 cup turbinado sugar

1- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly grease the parchment paper.  Combine the milk, half-and-half, and lemon juice in small bowl or wet-ingredients measuring cup. The cream will curdle, but this is not an issue.

2- Whisk together the coconut flour, 1 cup tapioca flour, 3/8 cup sugar, xanthum gum, baking power, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.

3- Cut in the butter like pastry until it resembles oatmeal or small peas. Toss in the dried strawberries.

4- In a small bowl, combine the defrosted strawberries, 1/8 cup sugar, 1/8 cup tapioca flour. Whisk to combine. This mixture should be a fairly thick liquid with strawberry chunks mixed in.

5- Force the strawberry "syrup" through a strainer, pouring the "syrup" into the large mixing dough with the flour/butter/dried strawberry base. Set the remaining strawberry chunks aside.

6- Add the lemon/cream mixture to the flour/butter/dried strawberry base in two parts. Stir to combine and knead slightly to finish combining and form a movable, fairly cohesive ball.

7- In the center of a large work surface, measure out 1/4 cup tapioca flour. Turn the dough ball in the flour until all sides are covered. Roll out into about a 20"-22" square. Fold in thirds and roll out again. It will be quite crumbly and temperamental to work with. Dust with additional flour if necessary.

8- Spread the reserved strawberry chunks across the surface. Roll/fold four times until a 5" X 20" log is formed. Roll out again into a 20" - 22" square. It will be about 1/2" thick.

9- Using a large chef's knife or bench-scraper, slice the pastry into thirds. Then, divide each third into thirds. Divide each of these diagonally into triangles. Transfer onto baking sheet. Press any remaining dough onto the top of the other scones.

10- Whisk up the egg and water to make an eggwash. Liberally brush each scone with eggwash. Be sure to cover the entire top and dab the sides as well, if possible. Top each scone with a sprinkling of turbinado sugar.

11- Bake the scones for about 25 minutes, or until they are solid to the touch and golden brown. A toothpick inserted into the middle of the scone should come out clean. Remove from the baking pan and place on a wire rack to cool. Serve warm- with cream cheese for breakfast, or whipped cream for dessert.

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