One time, someone gave me a black raspberry bush seedling in a black plastic pot telling me, “just plant it anywhere it can get a few hours of sun and in a few years you’ll have berries.”
So I did.
Truth be told, I wasn’t really expecting the berry bush to do well. My yard in the back is mostly shade, only one area along the privacy fence gets any sun.
To my surprise, it thrives there and every year I’m greeted with a bounty of berries.
Berries & Thieves
Tight, compact berries start appearing in early June, and they’ll go through several color changes before deepening into a dark purple berry as the month wanes.
That’s when I have to move fast.
If I don’t get to them quick enough, I’ll lose each one of those sweet berries to the birds, chipmunks, and squirrels who wait with just as much anticipation as I do for them to ripen. They can decimate berries quicker than you can blink!
Usually, I’ll pick berries daily until only a pint or so remain on the bush which I’ll leave for the animals. That way, we both get berries and everyone is happy.
Different berry bush, same robin thief
Scones + Me = Love 4ever
Speaking of happiness, let’s talk about scones. I have a love affair with scones.
It’s not a secret, I’ve mentioned it before when I introduced you to Tomato Rosemary & Black Pepper Scones. Sweet or Savory, hot and straight out of the oven or cold after sitting in a fridge all night, it doesn’t matter to me one bit, I love them all.
If you’ve never had a scone, let me tell you, they’re delicious bits of cakey goodness.
Scones are biscuit-like pastries, sometimes cut into quartered pieces and then baked. According to the legend, the name comes from a stone where the crowning of Scottish kings took place, the Stone of Destiny.
Let Me Count the Ways I Love Scones
There are quite a few things I enjoy about scones; it’s hard to pick my favorites. I like scones because they’re,
- quick and easy to prepare (a total requirement in my house)
- versatile (flavor combinations are endless)
- filling (thanks, flour!)
Another great plus? They keep well, so be sure to double up on batches when you make them and have enough to share with friends.
So why am I talking about scone history? Simple.
Do you know what goes great in scones? Black raspberries.
A recipe for black raspberry scones is something I’ve been working on for a few years. Every berry season I make several batches, throwing this or that into the mix, each version slightly different than the one before it.
The only constant was, I never wrote down what I did. All those delicious scones and I could never duplicate them exactly because I kept forgetting to write down an ingredient list!
This year it was going to be different. I made plans and waited for the berries to ripen.
And then, it was time.
Making Black Raspberry Scones
I picked a big bowl of plump, juicy black raspberries for my scones. On the way back in the house, I stopped to trim some of the fresh sage that I have growing in one of the flowerbeds.
The scent alone is enough of a reason to grow it, but it is also the perfect fresh addition to these scones. I took everything in the house and gave them a gentle washing.
I was finally ready to make scones. I began by preheating the oven and making the vegan buttermilk.
For those who aren’t familiar, it’s a simple process of mixing vinegar with non-dairy milk and setting it aside to curdle. I like to use soy milk for making buttermilk because it has a thicker consistency than other non-dairy kinds of milk, which works really well for making buttermilk. But if you are soy intolerant, by all means, choose another milk that works for you.
Next, I measured all of the dry ingredients into one bowl.
Then it was time for my favorite part, dressing the berries in sugar and sage.
Once all of the components are ready and put together, it’s time to mix up the scone batter. I like to mix my batter using a large wooden spoon, but you could mix it up with a rubber spatula too.
There’s a trick to getting light, cakey scones: Don’t overmix the batter. When mixing the batter, gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry until just mixed. A few spots of flour here and there is fine.
Once my batter is mixed, I use a large spoon and drop them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. No shaping and no using a special pan. I know there are some aficionados who will scoff at a slightly sloppy scone, and that’s fine.
As for myself, I like simple and less dirty dishes.
A closeup because they’re just so damn pretty. Look at those colors! Swoon!
Within five minutes of baking, the wonderful scent of these scones will be floating throughout the house. Within about ten more minutes, they’ll be baked to cakey perfection.
At this point, they can be eaten as-is or topped with a glaze.
I always go for the glaze. Glaze = good.
When topped with a zippy lemon glaze, these scones taste like a fancy-pants jelly doughnut.
Fancy-pants jelly doughnut tasting scones = really good.
But don’t take my word for it, take my dad’s. He likes these scones because they’re moist and fluffy and because the berry and sage combined with the bright lemon is—in his words—freaking delicious.
That’s high praise indeed!
For the Scones
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup organic sugar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 cup soymilk
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Fresh cracked pepper to taste
- 1 pint of black raspberries
For the Glaze
- 1/2 cup of organic powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Zest from one lemon
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a glass measuring cup, mix soy milk and apple cider vinegar together. Set aside to curdle.
- Combine flour, baking powder, salt, black pepper, and sugar in a large bowl.
- Add the berries to a separate smaller bowl and mix in half of the sugar and the sage.
- Once the soy milk has curdled, it's now vegan buttermilk. Add the olive oil to the same measuring cup.
- Pour the oil and vegan buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and fold to combine.
- Gently fold in the sugar and berry mixture. Take care and don't mix aggressively, otherwise you'll end up with purple scones. The less stirring, the better.
- Using a large spoon as a guide, drop the batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. These scones don't spread much, but they do need some space between them.
- Bake for 14 - 16 minutes or until the tops start to turn lightly brown.
- Transfer the scones to a cooling rack.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice and zest. The mixture needs to be the perfect consistency- not so thick it requires spreading with a knife, and no so thin it's watery. Add powdered sugar to thicken or lemon juice to smooth out as necessary. Not really sure what a good consistency looks like? Check out this handy visual to making the perfect glaze.
- Once the scones are completely cooled, drizzle each with a lattice of lemon glaze.
If black raspberries aren't available in your area (or they aren't in season) you can replace them with blackberries in this recipe easily. Are you a newbie to making vegan buttermilk? This recipe shows you exactly what to do!
Before You Bake
Before you get to the recipe, I should note: I used organic non-bleached all-purpose flour in this recipe because I wanted light, cakey texture. Yes, I realize there are plenty of alternatives to AP flour. I’m pretty sure this recipe would tolerate almost any flour you chose, with the exception of coconut flour (because sometimes coconut flour doesn’t work in anything). I don’t know about gluten-free flours because I don’t use them myself.
So, if you’d rather make spelt black raspberry sage scones, go for it. I’m not entirely sure it’ll be exactly like this recipe, but food experiments can be fun!
Be sure to let me know how it goes! Tweet or tag me on Instagram using #yourdailyvegan