Apricot-Ginger Scones (Vegan), Revised

In the 3 years since I posted my recipe I have gradually changed some ingredients in these scones, so I thought it was time for a recipe revision.

I love crystalized ginger. I put it in my tea sometimes, or snack on it. But I realize that its combination of sharp and sweet may not be to everyone’s tastes, and I didn’t want it to overwhelm the other flavors so I used more than 1/8th cup, but less than 1/4 cup. The ginger and nutmeg play very well together. Also, because the crystalized ginger is lightly dusted with sugar — and the fruit is sweet, too — I can get away with very little added sugar in this recipe. The ginger is sometimes excessively dusted with sugar, so I do brush some of the sugar off before dicing because I don’t want an overly sweet scone. You might could pare the added sugar down even more, depending on how sweet you like your scones. I buy crystalized ginger as needed in the bulk section of the grocery store. Not all crystalized ginger is the same, however. Sometimes it’s sold as tough fibrous chunks. Avoid this if possible. It’s also available as thin oval pieces and this is better for most uses.

2 1/2 cups flour

1 Tbls baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbls sugar

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 cup (8 Tbls) margarine (I use Smart Balance Original)

1/2 cup dried apricots, diced

slightly less than 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, diced (I’d say between 1/8th cup & 1/4 cup)

2/3 cup soy milk (I used Silk organic unsweetened)

Preheat oven 425.

Stir together all the dry ingredients (first five ingredients). Then blend in the margarine with a fork, pastry cutter, or just use your hands, until it’s all worked in evenly. Toss in the apricots and ginger then stir in well so that it’s evenly distributed. Pour in soy milk. Stir until the dough starts to come together, then use your hands and knead it until it makes a firm round of dough. Divide into two more or less equal pieces. Shape each into a ball and then a flattened round probably 5 or 6 inches in diameter. Place the rounds on an ungreased baking sheet. Cut each into 6 equal wedge-shaped pieces. Separate the wedges on the baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or until done. (If the wedges don’t come out equal sized, then test the larger ones with a toothpick for doneness when you take them out of the oven.)

This recipe is a big favorite with my friends.

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Lemon Poppyseed Scones (Vegan) Revised

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In the two and a half years since I posted the original recipe for this, I’ve made substantial changes, and just realized that I hadn’t posted the vegan version of this scone, which is in many ways an improvement.

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.

2 1/2 cups flour

1 Tbls baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3 Tbls sugar

1 tsp poppy seeds

1/2 cup margarine

1/2 cup soymilk

2 tsp lemon extract

Preheat oven 425.

Stir together dry ingredients in a bowl: flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, 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.