Autumn is settling in nicely and it’s definitely time for a scone. Fresh out of the oven. You know what I’m talking about there. Plenty of jam and whipped cream. Yum!!
We went for a long walk yesterday and it really felt like a touch of winter was in the air, the trees are changing; all those bronze, crimson and golden colours are coming. It’s such a beautiful time of year up here in Snowdonia.
I made these scones using local bilberries, you can use blueberries, mulberries or blackberries here, if you’re not close to bilberry bushes. These berries were picked somewhere up a mountain, near a beautiful lake, in the Welsh mist. My kind of ingredient!
I’ve made the recipes as easy as possible, these scones are served in slices which means very straightforward preparation. They’re a wholesome style, not your light and fluffy sort, but delicious and satisfying. They’re also low in sugar, are packed with berries and contain local cold pressed rape seed oil. I know cakes aren’t supposed to be healthy, but I like to try!
Autumn = Scone time
Every autumn I like at least one new scone recipe. Last year we made Coconut Scones, which are a real treat. I even got invited onto BBC Radio Wales to talk about them. That’s how good they are!! Totally different scone style to these.
Really, this is our Beach House version of a Mabon cake, aka the autumn equinox, we’ll talk more about that on our upcoming newsletter coming out this week. Sign up here (takes a few seconds).
Spelt – A Love Affair
Readers of the blog will know my love for spelt flour, we’ve had a long romance through the years. If I can, I’ll find a way to add spelt or other flours like rye, to my baking adventures. I just love the flavour and texture. I like that some of my friends who struggle with gluten can even enjoy spelt.
I have a similar love affair with cold pressed rapeseed oil. One of my favourite things about the last few years of living and cooking in Wales and the UK. Just a brilliant ingredient on every level, local, healthy, tasty and inexpensive. I buy rapeseed oil from small producers whenever I can. Because small producers are ace! I also wanted to avoid vegan butter/ margarine type things in this recipe. Not a huge fan of it.
Bilberries – A taste explosion!
Are a real taste explosions! Much more intense and flavourful than their bigger and more watery relatives the blueberry. Have a look around for a local bilberry bush, they grow all over the UK and are ripe for the picking. You’ll probably find them in wilder places like moors though. Keep your eyes peeled. They tend to grow together in big clumps. They’re not normally city dwellers.
Other berries will be great in these scones too. Maybe blackberries are more local for you? Either way, foraging for these berries is loads of fun and free. Or you can do what we did, get a friend to pick them for you!!
What to serve vegan scones with?
So whipped cream and butter are long gone. Great!! You’ll find some excellent vegan creme fraiche in the shops nowadays, this is awesome with scones. Blended up cashew nuts is also a great idea. Just soak some cashews until soft, then blend, adding a little water to get your desired consistency and sweeten with whatever you like. Just a touch of sweetness will do. Whipped coconut cream is another great, treat option. These all add delicious, and much welcomed, creaminess when tackling a scone. Jam? Grab your finest jar. Jane’s Mum’s Strawberry 2017 is a fine vintage indeed.
Let us know if you makes these scones in the comments below. If you like the look of this recipe, you’ll find more here.
When making scones, try not to over mix. Just enough until things are combined.
Do your best to not pop the berries when you’re combining with the mix. A few popped ones are fine, you can see I popped a few and they give the scones a cool purple look!
You can buy white spelt flour, but I’ve used the organic brown version here.
All flours are different when you’re baking, the amount of liquid can vary depending on many factors. 4 tbs plant milk is a guide here, we’re looking for quite a dry scone mix. Just enough liquid to keep it all together.
No spelt flour, no probs. Use a good quality wholemeal flour instead.
The same goes for rapeseed oil, you can use any cold pressed oil (sooooo much better than refined oils). I’ve been loving cold pressed sunflower oil of late.
Bilberry and Spelt Scones
The Bits – For 8 slices of scones
250g spelt flour
2 teas baking powder
60g light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
80g rapeseed oil (cold pressed)
60ml (4 tbs) plant milk
1 big handful (75g) bilberries or blueberries
A dash of plant milk and rapeseed oil
Preheat a fan oven to 180oC.
Place all the dry bits into a mixing bowl, and mix together. Add the wet and stir to combine. Mix into the bilberries, being as careful as you can not to pop them.
Line a baking tray with parchment. Form the mix into a disc shape, roughly 3/4 inch thick. Mix together a dash of plant milk and rapeseed oil in a small bowl, brush your scone with this mix.
Bake on a middle shelf of the oven for 20 minutes, the scone will have a nice golden crust around the edges. Ideally, leave to cool on the tray for 20 minutes before enjoying!
Serve topped with whipped coconut cream and your favourite jam or more berries
Spelt is said to have been cultivated since 5000 BC! It is a member of the wheat family and is a great source of energy, the Romans called it ‘marching grass’. It is high in minerals like magnesium, copper and iron and also boasts a load of thiamin, protein and fibre.