I don't follow recipes, but I hope you do

I have trouble following recipes. Though I always set out to follow someone else's recipe, by the time I am ready to serve or eat the finish product, I realize I didn't follow it at all. Most recipes have unnecessary steps or ingredients I can't eat (ie, nightshades) or ingredients I don't want to use (ie, refined sugar or white flour). I like to think of recipes as suggestions, not instructions.

Sometimes, of course, this ends in failure. But most of the time I end up with something I like... and a new recipe that is more mine than anyone else's. This following recipe is an example of that: I saw a Martha Stewart recipe for buttermilk scones with tangelos, and while I liked the idea of chopping up citrus for scones, I didn't like the actual recipe. Too much white flour, too many steps... so I have made a better recipe!

These are whole wheat orange scones, topped with cashew "clotted" cream. The cream is melty because the scones were still warm, but if you refrigerate the cream first, it holds up pretty well (recipe follows scone recipe). I was worried whole wheat scones would be too dense, but these were great.

Whole Wheat Orange Scones
(makes 6 scones)

1/4 C soymilk
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 C + 1 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
3 Tbsp margarine
2 Tbsp agave (or 3 Tbsp sugar, but in that case add another Tbsp soymilk)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp orange zest
2 medium oranges (or 3 clementines), peeled, segmented, then chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

Stir together soymilk and vinegar; set aside so it has time to curdle.

Sift the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt into a large bowl. Add the margarine in small pieces, cut into the pastry flour (with a pastry cutter or with a fork, like I do) until the mixture is clumpy, as the cookbooks say, "like coarse sand." In a separate bowl, combine the agave (or sugar), vanilla, orange zest, and soymilk mixture. Stir well, then add to the flour, with the orange segments. Don't stir this too much; some lumps are okay. It should form a sticky dough; turn this out onto a well-floured cutting board or parchment paper. With well floured hands (or put another piece of parchment paper on top), flatten the dough into an inch-thick circle.

Refrigerate the dough for half an hour. This is a good time to preheat the oven to 400. Take the dough out of the fridge and cut it into 6 triangles. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. (Optional: Brush tops with a bit of soy or coconut milk and sprinkle with sugar.) Bake for 18-22 minutes, until the tops are golden and the bottoms are starting to brown. Cool slightly before serving.


Do any of you ever have those moments where you think something like "Oh, man, where's that recipe for pineapple-and-tofu pie?" and start digging through your cookbooks before you realize there is no such thing? I frequently dream up recipes like that, and am always disappointed when I discover that no, nobody's made or sweet and sour hijiki patties. So I have to do these things myself. For some reason I had dreamed up a cashew clotted cream. This does not exist, guys. UNTIL NOW. I never had clotted cream, but when I lived in london, my flatmates were crazy about it. I can't make any promises that it tastes like clotted cream, but it tastes great and the texture is about right.

Cashew Clotted Cream
(makes enough for 6 scones)

1/4 C cashew butter
1/4 Cup + 2 Tbsp coconut milk
Optional: 1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine ingredients in a blender; blend until completely smooth (2-3 mins). Add more coconut milk to taste, but remember it will make the cream runnier at room temperature. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

If it's in the fridge for more than an hour, it'll firm up really well, but I don't care how firm my cashew cream is... IT IS DELICIOUS EITHER WAY. Some people sweeten their clotted cream; I think those people are crazy. This recipe is actually already a little sweet because of the cashew butter, but feel free to add a Tbsp of sugar if you want it sweeter.


VeggieGirl said... Best Blogger Tips

Scones look fabulous to me!!

Ruby Red Vegan said... Best Blogger Tips

"I frequently dream up recipes like that, and am always disappointed when I discover that no, nobody's made or sweet and sour hijiki patties." -- You do?! Hahaha. Maybe it's kind one of those deja vu things, where your brain is double-processing a thought (a thought about a type of food, in this case)... Weird!

I've never had clotted cream... The word "clotted" kind of gives me an icky feeling, but I can get past that because your cashew cream sounds really really good! I think you're right about recipes being suggestions, and some recipe writers get a little uptight about demanding you follow their recipe exactly! There's no way a recipe author can possibly try all the substitutions a recipe-follower mihgt do, and therefore they'd have no idea if a change to the recipe would work or not!

Pretty scones, and I am oh so excited about this "mail" that is coming my way! I'll let you know when I get it. :) Yay!

Audrina said... Best Blogger Tips

I'll try this recipe... Thanks for the detail...

jd said... Best Blogger Tips

Too weird...

My bf and I were just talking about how much he *loves* scones last night. He said that he saw a new orange scone on the menu (at Panera Bread) and thought it was really weird, so we got into this big debate about whether orange scones were likely to be awesome or not. (I said yes, he said no.)

Well, I think your post just helped me win the argument! I'll have to make your scones asap (even if I don't follow the recipe exactly - LOL!).

Thanks for the yummy-looking "I told you so" ammo!

Raya Bean said... Best Blogger Tips

good god, woman. i was just led to this blog by Viv. how did i not know you had a scrumptious blog before? we must bake. ugh time. hope to see you tonight at the benefit. xoxo

Judy's Nutrition said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow, that is an impressive recipe and picture! I too have a hard time sticking to a recipe - but it usually yields fantastic results. And yes, I also have those moments when what I am looking for exists only in my head. It's a good feeling though, and motivates me to get creative in the kitchen. Yummy cashew clotted cream...I'm gonna have to try that soon!

Peter said... Best Blogger Tips

I am a lightscribe from a food magazine. I am really happy to see this site. It so "delicious", i wish i could have some.

Suzi Sunshine said... Best Blogger Tips

I usually get the coconut milk in a half-gallon carton in the refrigerator section of my grocery store found next to the soy milk. But some recipes call for a can of coconut milk. What's the difference and are they interchangeable?

Sarah P said... Best Blogger Tips

@Suzi Sunshine They are not interchangeable in most recipes! I've noticed most blogs and/or cookbooks that talk about the kind you get refer to it as "coconut beverage" to avoid confusion. The canned coconut milk is grated coconut meat, so it is about 50% coconut cream and about 50% coconut water. It has a lot more fat and a lot more coconut flavor than the refrigerated beverage. The beverage has a lot more water, some sugar, and a few other ingredients added to thin it out and get a smoother texture. Canned coconut milk can be found in most large markets, often in the "ethnic" food section(s). I hope that helps!