Lemon Poppyseed Scones

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It took me a long time to get this recipe just right. I ran through quite a few batches with unsatisfactory results first using lemon yogurt, then using fresh squeezed lemon juice, then a few more batches using bottled lemon juice, before I just gave up and went for the simplest flavor option. Lemon extract. Using an extract has a number of advantages. You don’t have to try to balance dry ingredients with wet ingredients, which means that if my recipe doesn’t appeal to you, you can use your own favorite plain scone recipe and add lemon extract to it, without having to substantially alter the existing recipe. Also, it comes in small bottles and has a longer shelf life than yogurt, lemons, or lemon juice so likely it won’t go to waste.

Soymilk can be subsituted for milk, but that won’t make this recipe vegan, strictly speaking, because (as I understand it) most whey is not made using plant-based or microbial enzymes. For more about ingredients and modifying scone recipes, see my Fakin’ It When You Bake It: Scones post.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 Tbls baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbls sugar
  • 1/3 cup unflavored whey protein powder
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1/2 cup milk (or soymilk)
  • 2 tsp lemon extract

Preheat oven 425.

Stir together dry ingredients in a bowl: flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, unflavored whey protein powder, and poppy seeds. Cut in margarine (I use Smart Balance Original) with a fork, pastry blender or your hands. I usually start by breaking up the margarine with a fork and then rub in the margarine with my hands until it’s a nice homogenous mixture. Measure milk, then add 2 tsp lemon extract to it. Pour milk and lemon extract mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir rapidly with a fork until the dough starts to hold together in clumps, then use your hands to knead it very gently and briefly into a ball of dough. (Over-kneading will result in a tougher scone.) Divide the ball into two more or less equal pieces, shaping the dough into two equal flattened disks, about an inch in thickness. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Cut each disk into six more or less equal wedges, then separate the wedges so there’s about an inch at least between them. Bake in preheated oven 12 minutes (or until  a toothpick comes out clean…your oven may vary from mine).

The scones are very tender and almost melt in your mouth right out of the oven. Serve with strong hot tea. If you’re not serving them immediately to a pack of ravenous friends, leftover scones are still very good the next day. 😉 Store in an air-tight container after the scones have cooled.

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