Monday, October 11, 2010

Apple Rosemary Scones with Raspberry Jam.

Apple rosemary scones.

Before I had Gabe, I wasn't sure how my life would change. I expected to be a little more stressed, get a little less sleep, and have way less time and energy to do the things I love. Like baking.

Happily, the adjustment has been far less terrible than I expected (in fact, it hasn't been terrible at all!) and I have enough energy to cook and bake like I used to. Of course, these days - I'm squeezing the baking in between taking care of Gabe, which means sometimes it takes a whole lot longer than it used to. 

It used to be: follow recipe, clean kitchen, eat goodies. Yay.

Now, it's more like: start getting ingredients for recipe, Gabe cries, pick him up, bounce him around till he's happy, carry him while I finish getting ingredients from pantry. Put him in bouncy seat, start prepping, Gabe cries, put him in infant carrier so he'll be close to me and hopefully fall asleep. Doesn't work. Take him out of infant carrier, feed him, he falls asleep, yay! Put him in seat, turn white noise on really loudly, finish baking as fast as I can. He wakes up, feed him, put him in bouncy seat, and do dishes. Eat goodies on the couch with him in my lap. Spill many crumbs on his head.

These scones are so worth it.

Vegan Apple Rosemary Scone.

They come from a cookbook, Vegan Brunch, by my favorite cookbook author (chef?). Absolutely every single recipe I've tried from her has been amazing. In fact, 90% of the recipes I post on this site are from Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Seriously, buy her cookbooks. I used to only use the internet to find recipes, because they are reviewed so I know they won't be duds (isn't making a bad recipe just the most disappointing thing ever?). With her cookbooks, I know it will be delicious. I don't know how she does it, but I love it. /End gushing.

I've been converted to vegan baking because of her. Her food is just good, being vegan is just a bonus. (Don't be shy if you like butter and milk, you can use those instead.) Just try this recipe!  You won't be sorry. The texture is absolutely perfect, and I love the flavor.

The jam is super easy to make - I've been making my own jam for a few years. It's definitely not low-sugar, but it's easy and cheap! Plus, it doesn't contain lots of additives like store-bought jam does. I used raspberries from when we went picking right before Gabe was born. (I froze them, because I wasn't sure I'd have time to make jam before he was born.)

 (Vegan!) Apple Rosemary Scones 

1 ¼ cups almond milk
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 cups flour
2 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup sugar (plus more for sprinkling)
¼ cup fresh rosemary, finely chopped
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening (I used vegan butter)
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups diced apple

Preheat oven to 375° F. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Measure milk in a large measuring cup and add vinegar. Set aside to curdle.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, rosemary, nutmeg and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter or shortening in small clumps, then use your fingers or a pastry cutter to cut it into the flour until the dough texture becomes pebble-like.

Create a well in the center and add the milk mixture, oil and vanilla. Mix with a wooden spoon until about half of the flour is incorporated. Mix again until all ingredients are just moistened, taking care not to over-mix. A couple dry spots are fine. Fold in apples.

Use a ¼ measuring cup to spoon mixture onto the baking sheet. Dust the tops with more sugar, then bake for 18–22 minutes, until tops are lightly browned and firm to the touch. Transfer scones to a cooling rack.

Raspberry Jam

6 cups raspberries (fresh or frozen)
6 cups sugar 
(You use whatever quantity you want - just make sure you have equal parts berries and sugar.)

Wash and rinse all fruits thoroughly. Put fruit and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil while stirring rapidly and constantly. Continue to boil until mixture thickens.

To determine when the jam is done, use the "refrigerator test." Remove the jam mixture from the heat. Pour a small amount of boiling jam on a cold plate and put it in the freezing compartment of a refrigerator for a few minutes.  If the mixture gels, it is ready to fill.  I usually start to test after 10 minutes or so - you don't want to overcook it. Trust me. Also, keep in mind that the jam will thicken a bit as it cools, so if it seems a little runnier than store-bought jam, don't worry. (For more info or to make other kinds of jam, check out this website.)

And, now: EAT.
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