I have been in the midst of wrapping up a cookbook with my friend Johanna (more on that here) so there have been a lot of butter and flour combinations in my kitchen as of late.
While that is all well and good (just like Julia Child, I do happen to believe in butter, as long as it’s real butter), sometimes I just crave making something that has nothing to do with standard baking ingredients. A little olive oil here, a little gluten-free flour there.
There is beauty and creativity born out of restriction, after all.
But it’s not really restriction. It’s simply putting together new ingredients and seeing what happens. Which is how these buckwheat scones came to be.
“You put together a recipe at the same time that you’re working on finishing cookbook and the recipe wasn’t even for the book?”
I know, I am nuts.
Like most things, it started with one ingredient, in this case the apples. Local Gravensteins were in abundance, and the tart flavor makes it a perfect variety for baking with, so I bought a few too many just in case. Thank you late summer harvest. With dates leftover from another recipe, I decided the two could go hand in hand.
Most buckwheat recipes you’ll find will blend the buckwheat with another flour, mostly because buckwheat flour is so dense that you need something else in there to lighten it up. But for hearty scones, there’s nothing wrong with a little density, so these ones are 100% buckwheat, and if you like the earthy buckwheat flavor, these are for you.
Apple and Date Buckwheat Scones
2 cups whole grain buckwheat flour (you can also switch out a 1/2 cup for 1/2 cup finely ground hazelnuts)
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons cardamom
1 medium sized apple
1/2 cup dates
1/2 cup milk or non-dairy
5 tablespoons olive oil
In a large bowl, combine the buckwheat flour, baking powder, sugar and spices and mix together.
Peel the apple and cut it into small cubes. Chop the dates, and add both to the flour mixture. Stir together until apple and date pieces are well blended.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg. Add in the milk, followed by the olive oil and whisk together until well blended. Add to rest of ingredients and work together until a dough forms.
Split the dough into two parts and form two disks, about 5 inches in diameter, and place on a greased baking sheet. With a knife, carefully slice the disks into fourths.
Bake at 400°F for 15 to 20 minutes. The scones are done when a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
You can serve these scones warm, or wait from them to cool. Either way, pair with coffee or tea, and slather on a little jam or apple butter if you wish.
If you want them to look just a little fancier, brush some egg on before you pop them in the oven, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar or ground hazelnuts.