Meyer Lemon and Blueberry Scones [MMAZ]

Spring is officially here! We even had a taste of summer last week, with a few days of 80 degree temperatures. Suffice to say I am craving lighter foods, fresh fruits, and delicate flavors like lemon (Meyer lemon to be exact).

Spring colors and flavors

Spring colors and flavors

Meyer lemons are actually a cross between a lemon and an orange, resulting in darker, deeper yellow skin and aromatic, less sour juice than a typical lemon. The taste is absolutely incredible in baked goods–light and “zippy”, taking a dish to a whole new level of “yum.”

It’s been a while since I cooked with new-to-me ingredients that required research… Enter the result of this weekend’s kitchen experiment: scones made with spelt flour and coconut palm sugar, inspired by the recipe Shanna shared, via her friend Kendra, last Tuesday. Shanna’s recipe used Einkorn flour, but I could not find any at the store, so I decided to use spelt flour instead.

Meyer lemon and blueberry oat scones

Meyer lemon and blueberry oat scones

Spelt is an ancient grain with a mellow, nutty flavor, and slightly higher protein content than wheat. Though it is not gluten free (it actually has more gluten than wheat), it is easily digestible. Sarah B of My New Roots explains more:

“Spelt is an excellent source of manganese, which helps protect your cells from free radical damage, keeps your bones strong, maintains nerve health, and promotes the function of the thyroid gland. Spelt is also very high in fiber and contains a good amount of protein.” (source)

Delicious!

Delicious!

Coconut palm sugar is made by tapping the nectar from the coconut palm tree and drying the juice in a kettle drum. It condenses into an unrefined brown sugar that can be used as a 1-to-1 replacement for white or brown sugar. It has a deep caramel flavor, perfect for baked goods. You can read more information here.

one scone

Perfect for breakfast or tea time

Meyer Lemon Blueberry Oat Scones

Adapted from Shanna’s recipe

Makes 8 scones

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (make your own by blending steel-cut oats until fine)
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 1 – 2 meyer lemons
  • 8 ounces (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (or, in a pinch, strained regular yogurt, per above note)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • Juice of 2 – 3 Meyer Lemons
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Method

Preheat your oven to 400°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, oats, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ginger and salt. Toss the lemon zest with the dry ingredients.

Add the cubed butter to the dry ingredients. Rub or cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles small, coarse peas (using your fingers or a pastry cutter). Add yogurt and honey, and toss everything together with a fork or your hands until all of the dry ingredients are moistened.

Add the lemon juice last. Use the juice to bring the batter together, adding a little at a time until the mixture forms a nice dough that will hold together in a disc shape–not too wet or too crumbly. Gently fold in blueberries.

Form the dough into a large, flat disc on the parchment paper, pressing with your fingers as needed. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until golden brown on top. Cool for 15 minutes before cutting into 8 pieces.

Cut into wedges, like a pie

Cut into wedges, like a pie

The “base” for these scones came from Shanna and Kendra, but the blueberry-lemon combo was inspired by this week’s Meatless Monday from A – Z link-up, hosted by Heather. Although I missed the last two weeks (avocado), I hope to make it to the party more often this round!

BWV-Round2-April-Blueberry_thumb

Though I did not notice a huge difference in taste using the spelt flour (versus my usual whole wheat), I like the idea of an easier to digest and higher protein grain. Have you ever cooked with spelt flour? Please share any recipes you have tried! 

Enjoy!

-L

Luscious Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

I spend a majority of my time with fellow twenty-something artists.  We have interesting conversations, go see the wonderful cultural offerings in the city, and offer moral support when we feel creatively blocked.  We are also frequently strapped for cash.  For this reason, we tend to give each other edible gifts, rather than dishing out precious dough for a nice store bought present.

A good friend got a group together for birthday drinks the other night.  I didn’t want to arrive empty handed, so I decided to bake her a little something.  I ended up making some zesty lemon bars, per her request.

Mmmhmm

Mmmhmm

Shockingly, I had never made lemon bars before!  I once made lemon bars from a mix that Mom had, but I don’t count them.  This recipe was really simple, and the result is delicious!  The only adjustment I made was adding a bit of whole wheat flour to the crust, which, honestly was because I ran out of all-purpose flour.  I recommend the change, though.

Lemons

Lemons

Lemon Bars

Recipe from The New Cookbook, Better Homes and Gardens

Makes 20 bar cookies

For crust:

  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

For filling:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • Powdered sugar, optional

Preheat oven to 350F.  In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for about 30 seconds.  Add the 1/4 cup of sugar, and beat until combined.  Beat in the flour until mixture is crumbly.  Press into a 8x8x2in baking dish, smoothing with the back of a spoon. Bake until golden, 15-18 minutes.

Prepared crust layer

Prepared crust layer

While the crust is baking, combine eggs, sugar, flour, lemon zest, lemon juice, and baking powder.  Beat until thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes.

Pour filling mixture over hot baked layer and return to oven.  Bake for 20 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges and set in the center.  Cool completely on a wire rack.  Sift powdered sugar over the top, if desired.  Cut into 20 bars.

Fresh out of the oven

Fresh out of the oven

While digging out my apron, I also come across a package of doilies.  I was so excited to be able to present my bars on something prettier than just a tupperware container!  I’m trying not to read into the fact that I had doilies lying around… What a little housewife (minus the whole husband thing)!

Notice the doilies!

Notice the doilies!

The bars were quite a hit.  We were also lucky enough to have a batch of brownies, provided by another friend.  We were that super cool group with homemade goods at the bar.  We got a few dirty looks, but I prefer to think people were just jealous.

I’ll need to remember these next time I feel like baking, but don’t want chocolate (it happens once in a blue moon).  They were smooth, sweet, and tangy!  Yum!

Happy eating!

-C