Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sweet Vanilla Blueberry Scones Recipe (Gluten Free, Casein Free, Soy Free)

Blueberries are the essence of summer. In North Carolina blueberries are one of the first fruits of the season. Ripened and ready for picking at the end of May through the hot, humid days of July, fresh plump blueberries will show up in pies, muffins, cakes, sauces, jams, jellies, and even over ice cream.

In Eastern North Carolina our locally grown blueberries have been available at small farmer’s markets, roadside stands, and even at our local Piggly Wiggly. Blueberries do not need to be cooked to be enjoyed. My favorite way to eat them is straight from the bush or right out of the container at the farmer’s market! I often buy a pint of blueberries just to keep in the fridge so that I can take a few out for a snack whenever I need something sweet. Blueberries are of course naturally sweet and have an abundance of heart healthy benefits, especially from the antioxidant rich dye in the skin.

I created the following recipe for vanilla blueberry scones when I received information on a blog recipe contest sponsored by the US Highbush Blueberry Council. I have to admit as much as I would love to be a savory chef, I am a baker at heart… so I decided to create a gluten free, casein free, and soy free scone with blueberries. I chose to use almond flour as my main gluten free flour in this recipe because it is lower in simple carbohydrates than most gluten free flours. If you have not used almond flour in your gluten free baking, I highly recommend it. While it is more expensive than most flours, it’s healthier for you, holds up incredibly well in baking, and is an easy replacement for wheat flour.

I am very pleased with this recipe and I hope you will enjoy it. If you are fond of blueberries please give this recipe a try and cross your fingers that the folks at the US Highbush Blueberry Council will enjoy these scones as well!

Sweet Vanilla Blueberry Scones
Originally created by: Carrie @ Ginger Lemon Girl
(Free of gluten, soy, and casein)

Dry Ingredients
3 cups almond flour
¾ cup cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup sugar
1/3 cup *Spectrum shortening

Wet Ingredients
1 egg, slightly whisked
2/3 cup non-dairy *milk
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (if you use frozen DO NOT defrost them!!)
1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9” cake pan with parchment paper and spritz with non-stick cooking spray. Set parchment lined pan aside. In a large bowl whisk together almond flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Using a fork and knife or a pastry cutter, cut Spectrum shortening evenly into the flour mixture until it resembles small peas. Set aside. In a small bowl mix together the whisked egg, non-dairy milk, and vanilla extract. Mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients until thoroughly incorporated. Lastly add blueberries and mix. Batter will be thick. Pour batter into the parchment lined cake pan and smooth with a spatula. Bake for 25-30 minutes until edges of the round scone are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean with few crumbs. ** (See notes below on why this baking method is used for these scones.)** When scone is done, remove from oven and set aside to cool for several minutes. Cut round scone into 8 triangular scones. Serve warm with your favorite vanilla glaze.

Carrie’s Recipe Notes:

*I used Spectrum shortening in this recipe because it is casein (dairy) free and soy free. Feel free to use another type of shortening or butter in this recipe if you choose to do so!

*I used hemp milk in this recipe, because it is my favorite non-dairy soy-free milk. Feel free to use regular milk or the non-dairy milk of your choice.

*Almond flour - I purchase almond flour directly from Honeyville Food Products. Different brands of almond flour can vary in consistency and quality and the Honeyville brand is the best I have found so far and has the best baking results. It is also the least expensive in quantity and shipping than I have found elsewhere. For more recipes using Honeyville almond flour, visit Elana's Pantry, where I first learned about this fantastic product.

*Traditional scones are created and baked in triangles. This particular scone batter made with almond flour will not bake well in the free form of a triangle on a baking sheet; therefore the batter is made as a large cake and then cut into scone triangles upon cooling.

*Glaze – I made a simple vanilla glaze mixing powdered sugar, hemp milk, and vanilla extract until I had the consistency needed for drizzling.

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