Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ratio Rally: Strawberry Banana Scones with Lemon-Almond Glaze

What do you think of when you hear the word "scones"?  I think of tea.  Proper English teas, with tiny cucumber sandwiches and fancy tiered trays of desserts and small porcelain cups.  I think of raised pinky fingers.

This month, the Gluten-free Ratio Rally took on scones.

It's hard to find a universal ratio for scones.  Michael Ruhlman doesn't lay out a ratio for them.  He gives one for biscuits, but while scones are related, they're really somewhere in their own separate domain.  You can see the family resemblance.  A similar profile; a familiar crumb.  But they have their own thing going on.  They're independent.

So this month was particularly challenging, because not only was I trying to find the right combination of flavors, but I was also trying to find the right ratio at the same time.  To complicate matters, there are different kinds of scones as well - classic scones, cream scones, drop scones....  It's almost enough to make you throw in the towel and just make a cake or cookies instead.  Almost.

I hope it goes without saying that I had my fair share of baking failures this month.  Some were too liquidy, while others were too dry.  (I realize that it's starting to sound like the scones version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, but seriously, the consistency was really tough!)  The first batch that actually tasted good turned out to be more like a cake than a scone.  Delicious, yes.  But scones they were not.

But finally came a version that I could dust with flour and pat out into rounds.  I could cut it into pieces and move those pieces to a baking sheet without them falling apart.  And they baked up into wonderful scones which, especially when paired with the lemon-almond glaze, tasted pretty heavenly.  They were dry enough to be, well, scones and crumble apart, but moist enough to actually stay together.  The ratio of flour : liquid : egg : fat I ended up with was 2.5 : 1 : 0.5 : 1.  Kind of a strange ratio, but there it is all the same.

I think it's important to note that the strawberry flavor may not come through very strongly if you don't add the chopped strawberries to the batter.  If you don't want to add them for some reason, I'd add a bit of strawberry extract to make sure that it gets its fair share of the limelight.  Also, I did add chocolate chips to some of these to test out the flavor.  They were really good, although I sort of had the feeling that they were standing between the lemon almond glaze and my palate.  So I've included them in the recipe as optional, and depending on how much you love chocolate and strawberries together, you can take them or leave them.

These are best eaten warm.  Warm from the oven is best (does anyone out there really wait for baked goods to cool before eating them?  I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who goes right in for a taste...right?), but at least microwaved for 10-30 seconds if you're having one from the fridge or freezer.

So here you go.  Put the kettle on - it's time for tea.

Strawberry Banana Scones with Lemon-Almond Glaze
Makes 12 medium scones

For scones:
75 g almond flour
100 g brown rice flour (plus extra for kneading/dusting)
75 g tapioca starch
50 g potato starch
45 g granulated sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
50 g shortening
100 g banana (1 small ripe banana), cut into pieces
100 g pureed strawberries
1 egg or Egg Replacer
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup finely chopped strawberries
Optional: 1/2 cup mini-chocolate chips
Optional: 2 - 4 tbsp. non-dairy milk to

For Lemon Almond Glaze:
60 - 100 g powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. almond extract (this is very strong, so use sparingly and to your own taste!)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 - 3 tsp. cold water (until you have desired consistency)

Preheat the oven to 425 F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.

In a bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon and combine well.  Add the shortening and cut it into the flour with a pie cutter.  Add the banana pieces and cut those in the same way.

In a separate bowl, mix together the strawberry puree, egg, and vanilla.  Stir just until combined and then add in the chopped strawberries (if you want, reserve a few to place on top of the scones as they are baking).

Dust a flat surface generously with brown rice flour (this dough will be kind of sticky).  Shape the dough into a circle about 7 - 8 inches in diameter and dust generously with brown rice flour.  Using a large knife, cut it into sixths and place the pieces onto the greased baking sheets.  If desired, press a few strawberry pieces into the top of each one. Using a pastry brush, brush a light coating of the non-dairy milk onto each scone.

Bake at 425 F for 12 - 18 minutes or until firm to the touch and ever-so-lightly browned.  Remove from oven and leave on the hot baking trays for a few minutes to help them solidify more, then remove to a rack to cool.

Drizzle with the lemon almond glaze (see below) when they are completely cooled.  Store in the fridge for up to 2 days or freeze.  Warm before serving.

To make Lemon Almond Glaze:
Combine all ingredients and mix well until you have the consistency you want (you want it to be relatively thick so it stays on the scones).  Drizzle over the cooled scones.

If you like scones, you'll want to check out what everyone else came up with this month - they all look pretty fabulous to me!  For a complete list of scone creations from the other gluten-free bloggers in the Ratio Rally, visit Lauren's site, Celiac Teen. She hosted the Gluten-free Ratio Rally this month.

Amie of The Healthy Apple made Rice Crispy Scones
Britt of GF in the City made Blueberry Buttermilk Scones
Brooke of B & the Boy made Coconut scones
Caleigh of Gluten-Free[k] made Scones
Caneel of Mama Me Gluten-Free made Savory Jalapeño Cheese scones
Caroline of The G-Spot made Carrot Raisin Scones with Cinnamon Glaze
Charissa of Zest Bakery made Amaretto-Soaked Cherry and Almond Scones
Erin of the Sensitive Epicure made Millet Scones
Gretchen of Kumquat made Maple Oat Nut Scones
Irvin of Eat the Love made Savory Green Garlic Bacon Thyme Scones with White Pepper Maple Glaze
Jeanette of Jeanette’s Healthy Living made Coconut Pineapple Scones
Jenn of Jenn Cuisine made Banana Apple & Currant Scones
Karen of Cooking Gluten-Free made Oat Scones with Currants
Kate of Katealice Cookbook made Cinnamon Fruit Scones
Lauren of Celiac Teen made Multigrain Scones
Lisa of Gluten-Free Canteen made Bisconies
Lisa of With Style and Grace made Lavender Earl Grey Lemon Scones
Marla of Family Fresh Cooking made Vegan Avocado Scones
Meaghan of Wicked Good Vegan made Simple Scones with Clotted Cream and Strawberry Jam
Melanie of Mindful Food made Hazelnut Cream Scones with Blackberry Jam
Meredith of Gluten Free Betty made Cinnamon Raisin Scones
Mrs. R of Honey from Flinty Rocks made Classic Cream Scones and Almond Fig Scones
Peter and Kelli of No Gluten No Problem made Mesquite Scones
Sea of Book of Yum made Dairy-free Scones
Shauna of Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef made Currant Scones
Silvana of Silvana’s Kitchen made Pecan Streusel Scones with Cinnamon Drizzle
Tara of A Baking Life made Ginger Scones
TR of No One Likes Crumbley Cookies made Cinnamon Pecan Scones
Wendy of La Phemme Phoodie made Red Velvet Scones
Winnie of Healthy Green Kitchen made Coconut Raisin Scones


Jeanette said...

Your scones look awesome, the inside looks so nice and tender! I'm loving all the scones in this Gluten Free Ratio Rally!

Caneel said...

Oh these look so delicious! And I love almond lemon flavor combinations. That glaze is fantastic!

Winnie said...

These sound and look so yummy!

charissaf said...

Yummmmerz! I kinda think of tea too. I'm sure they would be fabulous with a cup of Earl Grey. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

Jenn said...

What great close-up photos! Love the fruit combo, I think bananas really help to make them moist :)

marla said...

The texture of your scones looks amazing! So glad we are in the ratio rally together :)

brooke said...

Why would you not put in the chopped strawberries on top of the puree?! Oh my!

My son would say to put in the chocolate, but I would be inclined to leave them as is.

Tara Barker said...

I love the idea of such a fruit-forward scone. And what great texture yours have! Wonderful contribution to the Rally!

Unknown said...

these look fantastic... love the flavor combination and your photos really show their texture.

Elina (Healthy and Sane) said...

Great job persevering through it and find that perfect balance of dry and moist... scones are tricky like that. Love the glaze too! :)

Claire Berman said...

Sorry for not replying to your lovely comments earlier, everyone! Finals sort of took over my life last week. But now I'm free!!

Thank you all for the comments and encouragement! The ratio was fun to toy around with, especially with the fruit factor. I'm so glad to be participating in the ratio rally with so many other talented gluten-free bakers :)

mtom said...

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