oh yes, it’s summer here in florida.
when the lovely two o’clock breeze becomes a sweeping gust that shakes the limbs of the giant oak tree in our front yard, i know the storm is approaching. the blinding sun and clear blue sky are quickly eclipsed by the tall, deep gray clouds whose substratum are heavy and full with fresh rain. the air even smells different; perhaps more fresh, the promise of an imminent downpour on the horizon.
thunder rolls and rumbles, and if the storm’s close enough, it shakes and rattles our old house.
thunderstorms are dramatic, and honestly, i love the pomp and circumstance of it all. i can’t get enough.
second to curling up with tea and a good book, i absolutely adore baking on a rainy day. baking in and of itself is a relaxing, therapeutic activity for me. i revel in the precision of it all, the ratios, the cadence of the methodical stirring and folding and kneading. it all just seems a little better, a little more wonderful when it’s raining. the steadiness of the rainfall tapping on the roof; peering out the front window to observe the calming chaos of the storm…it’s all just so damn beautiful.
sorry, i’m rambling.
anyhow, i think that there’s almost nothing better than baking a batch of scones to enjoy with tea and a good book when it’s raining outside. scones are easy to prepare, quick to bake, and exponentially more delicious when enjoyed on a lazy afternoon.
i have quite a love affair with scones, as i’ve blogged about before. i have two standard scone recipes i alternate between using, and i love experimenting with flavor combinations. sometimes i like a simple cream scone, flecked with sugar on top. i’ve made scones with dried fruit, chocolate, and chopped nuts, and they’re all delicious.
but these scones might just be my favorite scones of all.
punchy, bright and aromatic, these scones are a match made in heaven for afternoon tea. or morning tea, as they make for a fabulous breakfast. lavender and lemon share the spotlight here, neither one overwhelming the other. i ground the lavender in a coffee grinder, which exposed and highlighted its sweet-woodsy flavor. there’s plenty of lemon zest in the dough, and i used a simple mix of lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar to glaze these beauties. a final sprinkling of ground lavender compliments the tartness of the glaze.
these scones are magical. make them, i promise you’ll be as enchanted with them as i am.
lemon lavender scones
for the scones
zest of two lemons
1 tablespoon culinary lavender, finely ground (i used a coffee grinder, but a mortar & pestle would do)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1 large egg
1 egg yolk (reserve the egg white for brushing the tops of the scones before baking)
1 cup heavy cream
for the glaze
4 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice (use the two lemons you zested above!)
2 cups confectioners' sugar
finely ground culinary lavender, for sprinkling atop scones
preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
in the bowl of a food processor, combine sugar, lemon zest, and lavender. pulse a few times to combine and allow the zest to release its essential oils.
add flour, baking powder, salt and butter to the food processor, and pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal.
in a separate bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolk and cream.
add egg mixture to flour mixture, and pulse until just combined.
turn dough onto a well-floured surface. using a rolling pin, roll dough to approximately one inch thickness.
you can use biscuit or cookie cutters to cut out scones, or simply cut them into squares.
you can also separate your dough into two balls, and roll each one into a circle. then, using a knife or bench knife, cut the circle so you have eight pieces, much like you would a pizza.
arrange scones onto baking sheet, about two inches apart.
brush tops of scones with reserved egg white, and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
bake for 14-16 minutes, or until pale golden.
if glazing, allow to cool completely. then drizzle glaze liberally atop cooled scones, topping with reserved ground lavender.
enjoy scones with freshly whipped cream, butter, jam, creme fraiche, or clotted cream.
you can wrap the unglazed scones individually with plastic wrap and foil, and place them in a freezer-safe zip-top bag and freeze them for a week or two, and simply heat them in a 350 degree F oven for a few minutes to warm them up. then glaze and serve!
the glazed scones will keep stored in an airtight container at room temperature for three to four days.
adapted from gourmet