BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

A Call for Comfort

21 Comments

If there’s anything good to be said in favor of the colder, wintery climate slowly but surely settling in across the northern hemisphere, it would undoubtedly be about baking. No longer does the kitchen itself become a sweltering sauna upon preheating the oven, and whipped meringue stays fluffy and pert, regardless of the duration. Holiday cookie plates aren’t the only reason why bakers return to their sugary arsenal around this time of year; the seasonal shift triggers an instinctive need for warmth and comfort, both of which can be found in ample supply within a fresh batch of flaky apple danishes, still steamy within, or gooey chocolate chip cookies, soft as non-dairy butter.

The soothing capacity of homemade baked foods isn’t limited to any single genre, and exactly what sweet treat one pulls out of that radiating electric range is a highly personal choice. For me, tender, sticky gingerbread would be on the menu every day if I was living solo. Since variety is the spice of life, or so I’m led to believe, perhaps it’s a good thing that my family members all have their own words of wisdom once the oven roars back to life after its summer hibernation.

Hands down, scones will always rank near the top of the list for my mom, whether they’re served with extra icing for dessert or a smear of jam for breakfast. My tried-and-true formula, that fool-proof ratio of flour, liquid, and fat effortlessly yielding golden brown and delicious biscuits, rarely varies. The mix-ins are what keeps each subsequent batch exciting, preventing palate fatigue before the frozen earth outsides begins to thaw.

Looking to shake up the standard pastry routine, I was in luck when Meduri Fruit offered to send me a sample of their wares. Calling these morsels “boutique-quality dried fruit” sounds like a dubious compliment at first blush, but these specimens were truly outstanding. Whereas bulk bin picks are certainly more economical, they often dry out to a consistency better suited to beefless jerky, deterring more frequent purchases. None of that can be found here. Each variety is clearly dehydrated with care, maintaining an incredibly soft, chewy texture in each sweet piece.

Using such intensely flavorful dried fruits allows the kitchen-sink approach to work so brilliantly in these unassuming scones. Their inner beauty is revealed with each bite, the essence of a different fruit coming forward in alternating nibbles and crumbs. The specifics aren’t terribly important when selecting your own dried fruits; quality counts above all else.

Fruit Basket Scones

1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/4 Cup Almond Meal
2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Cup Non-Dairy Margarine
1/2 – 2/3 Cup Mixed Dried or Candied Fruits, Chopped into Raisin-Sized Pieces if Necessary
3 – 5 Tablespoons Plain Non-Dairy Milk
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1/2 Teaspoon Almond Extract
1/4 Cup Sliced Almonds

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper or a silpat.

Mix the flour, almond meal, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl until thoroughly blended. Cut the margarine into tablespoon-sized pieces before dropping them into the dry goods. Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut in the margarine until you have coarse crumbs with chunks of margarine no larger than the size of a lentil. Add in the dried or candied fruits of your choice, tossing to coat with flour before drizzling in 3 tablespoons of non-dairy milk along with the lemon juice and almond extract. Mix thoroughly, using your hands to bring the dough together if necessary, and slowly incorporate additional non-dairy milk if the mixture is still to dry to form a cohesive ball.

Gather up the dough into a big round and place it on your prepared baking sheet. Pat it out into an even round about 1/2-inch in thickness. Use a very sharp knife to slice it into four equal wedges, and then sprinkle them with slice almonds. Press down gently to make sure the nuts adhere to the tops of the scones.

Bake for 18 – 20 minutes, until golden brown all over. Serve warm or cool on a wire rack for later. Place in an air-tight container or wrap tightly in plastic and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Makes 4 Scones

Printable Recipe

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Author: Hannah Kaminsky

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

21 thoughts on “A Call for Comfort

  1. Thanks for sharing these dried fruits and recipe. Do they have any added sweeteners?

  2. I love scones and have one very healthy recipe from Moosewood that I use all the time but haven’t veganized yet. When I get the chance (and get home), I’ll try these.

    janet

  3. Ah scones! I love baked goods for weekend breafasts and scones feel fairly virtuous?! I’m definitely going to have to use your base recipe at some point. Those dried fruits look beautiful, and certainly excellent quality.

  4. These look wonderful, scones are the perfect comfort food :D
    Especially with fruit in them!

    Cheers
    CCU

  5. Scones are so great. My favorite is orange chocolate chip, because I am definitely the kind of person that eats chocolate for breakfast. Recently I have been thinking a lot about apple rosemary or lemon thyme, or some sort of herb-y combination!

  6. You’re definitely spot on with the winter baking. I don’t normally bake that much. But now with the colder weather I find myself using the oven almost every day either for roasting or baking. These scones look so delicious. What a perfect food for using dried fruits in . I love eating dried fruit like candy but having them encased in yummy scones is even better!

  7. The scones look fantastic! I want to make scones now. Thanks for reminding me of the one good thing about cold weather – it really does help baking. I can frost things nicely again!

  8. Beautiful photography as usual!

  9. Yum, love scones. It’s always jam and vegan cream for me. But I have a chronic sweet tooth and I love dried fruits, so I think I need an extra scone recipe in my life, and this is it!

  10. For me, scones always bring back memories of my grandmother. Coming from England, I’ve always enjoyed a good scone, but my grandmother’s were the best, and always served with fresh clotted cream and orange marmalade. I’ve since tried to recreate her magic, but to no avail. I think it may have been the copious amount of clotted cream I consume along with them, which clearly is not vegan, but I’d love to give these fruit basket scones a try. The flavor combination sounds just marvelous!

  11. I love serving scones and I love gingerbread so, le voila! Great recipe and I love your vintage muffin tin.

  12. The dried fruits sound lovely and I could see these scones being a hit as holiday morning breakfast!

  13. Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
    The words in your article seem to be running off the screen in Safari.
    I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let
    you know. The design look great though! Hope you get the issue solved
    soon. Thanks

  14. Scones feel like such a special baked good. Such a treat :)

  15. Scones are yummy with a nice glaze on them. My favorite fruity scone is blueberry with some nice vanilla glaze. Dried fruits are a great healthy alternative to sticky candies! Beautiful photos, Hannah!

  16. Never been a big fan of scones but I’ll have to try this recipe. I like the fruit and it just looks good!

  17. Your tasty treats look amazing & must taste awesome with all those fine ingredients. Yum Yum yummmmm! 😀

  18. Sounds delicious, I know what I will be making tomorrow.

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