I need to let you know that I baked 2 batches of these scones. Let me explain; I always wanted to cook/bake with lavenders. I didn’t want to jump right in and do something complicated or too time intensive. I found this recipe on Hood River Lavender Farm and thought it would be a perfect recipe! The first batch was still very good, but I wasn’t happy with it (after all, if I’m going to post the recipes and photos online, I need to be able to tell the readers what I liked/disliked about the recipe and get accurate photos). Therefore, I ended up baking a second batch because I’m a perfectionist!! So, before I show what I happened, let me share with you the recipe.
2 cups all-purpose flour (pastry flour is best)
¼ cup sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
1 Tablespoon Lavender (English lavender or Provence)
1/3 cup cold butter, cut into pieces (5 ½ Tablespoon)
1 cup heavy cream (double cream)
1 tsp (heaping) Lemon Juice
1 cup Bosc Pears (peeled & cubed) – I will not dice any larger than 1/2 inch, even smaller may be better – apples can be substitued
Preheat oven to 375.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt & lavender. Use a pastry blender and add the cold butter until the consistency is course & crumbly.
Add 1 cup whipping cream, 1 tsp lemon juice, and 1 ½ cup cubed pears. Stir with a fork just until moistened (DO NOT OVER MIX).
Add a drop or 2 more of cream if its too dry. Knead the dough 4 or 5 times in the same bowl, or on a floured surface.
Roll out ¾ inch thick & cut with round biscuit cutter (or any cookie cutter). Place each scone about 2 inches apart on parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Brush tops of the scone with a little cream or egg whites. Sprinkle with sugar/cinnamon mixture (and a few lavender-flowers-optional).
Bake at 375 for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Serve warm with Devonshire cream, jam and hot tea.
Okay, so here’s what happened:
1. Instead of using regular pastry flour (pastry flour has higher gluten than all purpose flour. Pastry flour is great for baking croissants, puff pastry, pie crusts, etc), I used whole wheat pastry flour. If you know anything about whole wheat the end product is not as smooth as using regular flour, the texture is a bit more grainy. I used whole wheat to be a bit more “healthy”. For my second batch, I used all purpose flour.
2. For my first batch I used pear, a semi ripe pear (kind of juicy and very sweet) – BIG MISTAKE!! If you’re using pear, choose the kind that is not quite ripe and not juicy. If you do end up with the juicy kind, you’ll have to add more flour, but that will mess up with the balance… For my second batch, I used Honey Crisp apple.
3. By using whole wheat pastry flour and ripe juicy pear in my first batch, it was difficult to roll out the dough (plus because of a lot more moisture from the pear the dough was very sticky). I did what I can, but the scone did not rise properly either. However, I do have to say that it tasted pretty darn good!
This photo is from my second batch. As you can see, it rose far better than the first batch and by using Honey Crisp Apple, rolling the dough was much easier. I also preferred this texture over the first batch.
My opinion: Whether the taste from the first batch or the second batch, both were excellent tasting. However, I do like the texture of the second batch. I did not add the cinnamon (just my personal preference). This scone is so elegant tasting. You can taste the lavender, but it is not overpowering at all. Having either the diced pear or apple adds different layer of texture and sweetness to this scone. We had the scones we clotted cream (naturally). For those of you living in and around Philadelphia, you can get clotted cream almost at any major supermarkets, but you can definitely get it at the Whole Foods Market, Fresh Grocers, and Wegmans.
Culinary lavenders can be found online (it’s actually not that expensive, but the shipping charge may kill you). I got mine at the spice/herb store in the Reading Terminal (11th and Arch St).