Lemon and Lavender Scones
Updated on 22/05/2020
While the recipe for Lemon and Lavender Scones remains the same, I’ve updated the information and write up in a more organized fashion.
Spread the Fragrance
Did you that flowers have been used world wide as a part of cooking? Usage of edible flowers can be traced all the way back to the Roman times. Use of edible flowers became a vogue during the Victorian period usually used to decorate cakes and desserts. Flowers and their extracts are still play a major part in the Middle Eastern, Indian Sub Continent and Chinese cuisine.
Flower culinary is fast coming back into ‘fashion’ with high end flowers and fine dining restaurants using fresh flowers right from adding them to starters, soups, salads to main dishes and desserts. And not forgetting infused teas and drinks. The options are endless.
Growing up I’d seen my mum and aunts use rose petals to decorate shrikhand, kheer and gulab jamun. We would pluck the flowers of the fennel plant and eat them as they tasted like fennel seeds. Back then our garden had rose plants and no chemical fertilizers or pesticides were used. We would pluck the rose whenever required, wash the petals and use them.
How I’ve included flowers, or extracts in my cooking:
Rose jam(gulkand), rose essence and fresh petals are used in a lot of Indian sweets, biryanis and exotic curries and kulfis. Another commonly used flower is kewra (screw pine). Though I still have to use kewra in my cooking I’ve often used rose petals, rose water and rose jam.
Some the recipes you may want to check out using rose or rose products:
- Rose Flavored Mini Cupcakes
- Rose, Saffron and Pandan Panna Cotta
- Rose and Saffron Yogurt Mousse
- Rose and Cardamom Cookies
- Watermelon Coconut and Rose Popsicles
- Pistachio and Rose Cake
- Lychee Rose Syrup Drink
- Gulkand Phirni
- Thandai Muffins
- Thandai Chia Pudding
- Paneer Kundan Kaliya
Middle eastern cooking use orange blossom water, jasmine and rose water. Orange blossom water is also used in the North African, Mediterranean and European cuisine. Orange Blossom Water is so aromatic and flavorful, I’ve had the opportunity to use it in my bakes:
The next most common form of flower used for cooking is saffron… we actually use the stigma and stamen of the crocus flower. Its commonly used in cooking in the Middle East, the Indian Sub Continent and Europe. Saffron is one of my favorite ingredient to use.
Check out how I’ve used saffron in several dishes:
- Iced Chai Saffron Latte
- Orange Saffron Semolina Cake
- Gajar Halwa with Orange and Saffron
- Mini Saffron and Fruity Chum Chums
- Saffron Pistachio Muffins
- Thandai Makhana Phirni
- Lemongrass and Ginger Jelly
- Qubani Naan
- Kashmiri Kahwa/Kashmiri Tea
- Italian Easter Bread
- Baklava Bread Rolls
Experimenting with Lavender:
Unusual Flowers Used in Cooking:
While I’ve not tried using Banana Blossom, Neem Tree or Moringa flowers, my fellow bloggers use it often.
Sasmita likes to add neem buds to a raw mango curry called Amba Nimba Jhola she prepares during summer.
I hear preparing banana blossom for cooking is very time consuming but that does not stop Sujata from using it make Mocha Ghonto or Banana Flower Dry Curry.
Shobha uses drumstick or moringa flowers to prepare a Drumstick Flowers Raita whereby she adds boiled flowers in thick yogurt along with spices which is usually served as a side dish or as a salad.
Why use flowers in Cooking?
They not only add colour to any dish but also add flavour and a sort of personality to a simple dish. Many flowers have health benefits too. Fresh flowers, dried flowers, syrups ,flower waters, flower essence or even flower flavoured sugars are commonly used. Add flowers to oils to create an infusion that is commonly used to add to salads. Creating cocktails using edible fresh flowers, syrups and flower infused alcohol is fast becoming the trend in most pubs and bars and lounges.
Below is a list of commonly used flowers for cooking:
- Rose – fresh, extract, water, in jam form used for desserts, curries, bakes, drinks
- Kewra or screw pine – mainly use in water or essence used in desserts, curries, drinks
- Hibiscus – fresh flowers and dried flowers in salads, teas, drinks.
- Lavender – fresh or dried buds in salads, bakes, desserts, teas
- Jasmine– fresh or dried in teas, for drinks
- Banana Blossoms – used fresh in curries, as fritters, in salads
- Marigold or Gotas – dried or fresh -for salads, desserts and drinks
- Pansies – fresh or dried – for salads, desserts, soups
- Fuchsia -fresh usually used as garnish
- Carnations– dried or fresh used for wines, desserts, candy
- Chrysanthemums – usually the petals are blanched to add to salads and stir fries
- Dandelions – usually the young flowers or buds are used for salads, sprinkled over rice and in wines
- Chamomile – usually dried for tea infusions
- Zucchini flowers – usually stuffed with soft cheese, dipped in batter and fried
- Butterfly Pea Flowers – used to make herbal tea, blue tea. On adding something acidic like lemon juice it changes to a beautiful shade of purple. Chefs in Thailand and Singapore use this naturally blue colored flowers in rice, dumplings and desserts too.
Its a coincidence that when Kriti of Krispy Kadhai suggested #FlowerRecipes as the #99th theme for our weekly recipe, just that weekend I had the opportunity to taste stuffed zucchini flowers at an Italian restaurant. The zucchini flowers or fiori di zucca as they are called in Italian were stuffed with mozzarella cheese, dipped in a batter and fried. Its the yummiest starter I’ve ever had. This theme got me a bit too excited as I love using flowers. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to prepare. On the list was a jam, cookies, a drink and scones. Eventually scones won as I got some dried lavender buds.
Best ever Spice Shop
My hubby and I went to the Jean Talon market in Montreal which by the way is a must ,must place to visit if you’re a foodie like me… the colours, fresh herbs and all sorts of food stuff is a feast for the eyes. I was browsing through this famous spice shop Epices de Cru. I came across lavender buds from the famous Provence area in France. Just a whiff and the fragrance was heady and calming. I bought the dried buds. Got some really nice yellow citrusy lemons and I was ready to bake. The shop sources all sorts of spices from all over the world. You name it and they will have the spice.
Ingredients required for Lemon and Lavender Scones
- Plain Flour – also known as maida or all purpose flour. Some extra is required for dusting.
- Sugar – I decided to use light brown sugar. Use either brown or normal white sugar.
- Baking Powder – as a leavening agent
- Soda Bicarbonate – also known as Baking Soda, for leavening
- Salt – a little bit to bring out the flavours
- Butter – I’ve used unsalted. Must be cold and I prefer to cut into small cubes or grate it. If you use salted butter then don’t add salt.
- Lemon Zest – before grating the lemon skin or peel I prefer to soak it in vinegar for 10-15 minutes to remove any impurities. Don’t grate the white part as it imparts a bitter taste. Need for adding in the flour and also for the glaze.
- Lemon Juice – freshly squeezed is best for as ready made ones tend to taste more tangy. Need some to add to the dough and also for the glaze.
- Blue or Black Poppy Seeds – totally optional. I just love to add them to my bakes as I love the crunch from the tiny seeds.
- Lavender Buds – make sure you buy ones that can be used for culinary purpose. Don’t use too much as it may make the scones taste like soap!
- Egg – large and lightly whipped
- Milk – to bind the dough together and extra for brushing on top of the scones
- Icing Sugar – for the glaze
While the house was full of lemon fragrance, the combination flavour of lemon and lavender is difficult to describe. However, will give it a try…the scones turned out citrusy, fresh, aromatic, floral, soft …basically trying to say they tasted awesome.
LEMON AND LAVENDER SCONES
For The Scones:
- 2 cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
- ⅓ -½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cold cut into tiny cubes
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp blue or black poppy seeds optional
- 2 tbsp lavender buds dried
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- ¼ cup cold milk
- 1 tbsp milk brushing on top
- extra flour for dusting
For the Lemon Glaze:
- ½ cup icing sugar or powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp lemon zest
Preparation and Baking of Scones:
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Lightly butter it.
- Sift flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together in a bowl.
- Add lavender buds and 1 tbsp sugar from the measured amount into a mortar.
- Lightly crush it with a pestle.
- Add poppy seeds, lemon zest, lavender buds and sugar to the flour. Mix well.
- Cut the cold butter into small cubes or grate it.
- Add it to the flour mixture.
- Rub the butter into the flour using your finger tips till the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
- Add lemon juice, milk and egg and bring the flour mixture to form a rough dough. Do not knead the dough.
- Lightly dust the work board with flour.
- Tip out the dough onto the work board. Bring it together into a ball.
- Flatten the ball. Either roll it using a rolling pin of flatten it with your palms into a 1 inch thick disc.
- Transfer the disc carefully to the prepared tray.
- Cut into 8 wedges. Brush milk over it.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or till the top is golden brown.
- Remove the scones from the oven and let them cool down.
Preparation of the Glaze and Glazing:
- Mix icing sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice into a thick pouring paste.
- When the scones are cool, drizzle the glaze over it and serve.
- Serve with some clotted cream, butter or lemon curd.
- Do not use flowers plucked from anywhere as they may have chemicals on it or insecticides. Its best to buy them from health shops or from your own garden.
- Leave fresh edible flowers in salt water for 5 minutes to get rid of pests, dirt.
- Refresh flowers by putting them in cold water.
- Do not add too much lavender buds otherwise the scones will taste like lavender soap.
- Do not knead the dough. It will become glutinous and the scones will become tough.
- If you feel the dough has become warm, leave it in the fridge till it becomes cold. Cold ingredients are scones best friend.
- You may make round scones using a cookie cutter. Leftover dough is brought together and rolled again. To avoid over working the dough, I prefer to cut them into wedges.
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