665. Lemon and Lavender Scones
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, its a major part in the Middle Eastern, Indian Sub Continent and Chinese culture. Use of edible flowers became a vogue during the Victorian period usually used to decorate cakes and desserts.
Flower culinary is fast coming back into ‘fashion’ with high end flowers and fine dining restaurants are now using fresh flowers right from making starters, in soups and 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. Rose jam(gulkand), rose essence and fresh petals are used in a lot of Indian sweets, biryanis and exotic curries, kulfis. Another commonly used flower is kewra (screw pine).
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.
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.
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 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.
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Below is a list of commonly used flowers for cooking:
a) rose – fresh, extract, water, in jam form used for desserts, curries, bakes, drinks
b) kewra or screw pine – mainly use in water or essence used in desserts, curries, drinks
c) hibiscus – fresh flowers and dried flowers in salads, teas, drinks.
d) lavender – fresh or dried buds in salads, bakes, desserts, teas
e) jasmine- fresh or dried in teas, for drinks
f) banana blossoms used fresh in curries, as fritters, in salads
g) marigold or gotas – dried or fresh -for salads, desserts and drinks
h) pansies – fresh or dried – for salads, desserts, soups
i) fuchsia -fresh usually used as garnish
j) carnations- dried or fresh used for wines, desserts, candy
k) chrysanthemums usually the petals are blanched to add to salads and stir fries
l) dandelions – usually the young flowers or buds are used for salads, sprinkled over rice and in wines
m)chamomile – usually dried for tea infusions
n) zucchini flowers – usually stuffed with soft cheese, dipped in batter and fried
Its a coincidence that when Kriti of Krispy Kadhai suggested #FlowerRecipes as the #99th theme for #FoodieMonday #Bloghop just that weekend I tasted 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 had. This theme has been one of my favourites. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do. On the list was a jam, cookies, a drink and scones. Eventually scones won as I got some dried lavender buds.
My hubby and I went to the Jean Talon market in Montreal, by the way 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.
While the house was full of lemon fragrance, the combination flavour of lemon and lavender is difficult to describe.
LEMON AND LAVENDER SCONES
Makes 8 pieces
2 cups plain flour(all purpose flour)
⅓ –½ cup light brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
½ tsp salt
½ cup (approx 100g) unsalted butter, cold
1 tbsp lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp blue poppy seeds
2 tbsp dried lavender buds
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup milk
1 tbsp milk for brushing
extra flour for dusting
For the Glaze:
½ cup icing sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
¼ tsp lemon zest
- 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 poppy seeds, lemon zest, lavender buds and sugar to the flour. Mix well.
- Cut the butter into small cubes or grate it.
- Add it to the flour.
- 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 a bit.
- In the meantime prepare the glaze. Mix icing sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice into a thick pouring paste.
- When the scones are a bit 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.
|Gulkhand Phirni using rose petal jam
|pistachio and rose cake using rose water and rose petals
|Mini panettone using orange blossom water
|Gibassier using orange blossom water|