The two days of the weekend couldn’t have been further apart in terms of activities, and also of noise versus peace and quiet!
Saturday was our annual pilgrimage to Thunder Over Michigan airshow at Willow Run Airport about 30 minutes away. We spent the morning happily wandering around all the planes snapping away, and the afternoon watching the mock WWII battle and the amazing flying programme, headed by Mustang Mania and Fifi! There were fourteen P51 Mustang’s parked up on display and later in the afternoon, eleven of them took to the air at the same time in an amazing show. And Fifi? A Boeing B-29 Super Fortress. The only one flying in the entire world. Can’t quite recall the fame of the B-29? It was the plane that dropped the atomic bombs on Japan at the end of the World World War thus ensuing Japan’s complete surrender. The Enola Gay dropped “Little Boy” on Hiroshima and three days later Bockscar dropped “Fat Man” on Nagasaki. It was amazing to see a B-29 up close and personal and even more incredible to see it fly.
Sunday was an altogether different day. For a start, we had a steady soft rain falling most of the morning so any thought of outdoor activity was scrapped in favour of a quiet but productive, indoor day. In fact, it was such a lazy day I had to practically prod myself a number of times to get anything done at all! I finished off a single sock and cast on again for it’s matching pair. I tidied up in my craft room, looked at a couple of challenges and thought about sitting down and making something but couldn’t quite muster up the enthusiasm to carry it through! In the end, mid afternoon, I decided to do a little baking, to provide some sweet little culinary delight for afternoon tea. I remembered that I’d brought back a packet of lavender specifically for baking with from our trip to South Carolina in April and so decided that something lavendery and summer-like should be the order of the day. A quick trip round the internet and I came up with Sweet Lavender and Lemon Scones with a lavender glaze. Umm uhmm. Yummy for your tummy. This is how they turned out.
Beautiful aren’t they? They’re very floral and aromatic but the lemon really balances any sickliness from the lavender and provides a wonderful tang. They got two thumbs up from us at any rate, and went incredibly well with a cuppa! The scone base is the very “short” American type rather than the more kneaded, heavier English version that you would generally associate with cheese scones, and because of this I don’t think they’d keep as well. But in all honesty I hardly doubt that’s going to be a problem!
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for surface (6oz plain flour)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (2oz sugar)
- 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon dried lavender buds
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 stick chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4″ cubes (about 4oz)
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk (4 fl oz or 120 ml of plain milk)
- 1 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk flour and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Add butter; rub in with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Whisk 1 cup (4fl oz) buttermilk, zest, and vanilla in a small bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir until shaggy dough forms! (Interesting terminology!!)
Transfer to a lightly floured surface; knead until dough forms, about 5 turns. Pat into a rectangle. Halve dough lengthwise. Cut each half crosswise into 2 squares. Cut each square diagonally in half into 2 triangles. Put on baking sheets. Brush with 1 tablespoons (butter)milk. Sprinkle with sugar.
Bake until scones are golden and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 13-15 minutes. Transfer to wire racks; let cool.
**It’s very important NOT to over knead American style scones, just pull them together until you can shape them and cut them, otherwise they’ll be tougher and dense.**
I put my 1 tsp of lavender buds in a pestle and mortar and gave them a quick grind to release the oils but not break them up too much. I had also made Lavender Sugar about a month ago by putting plain sugar in a screw top glass jar with about three tablespoons of lavender buds, I used this in the scones, sifting out the lavender and putting them back in the jar again.
- Juice of a small lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon of lavender buds ground in a pestle and mortar (grind them more finely than for the scone mixture)
- About 2 teaspoons of butter
- Confectioners sugar (icing sugar)
Put the lemon juice, and butter in a glass bowl over a pan of hot water and stirl until the butter has melted and the lemon mixture has warmed through. Remove the bowl from the pan, add the ground lavender and place a saucer or plate on the bowl; leave for at least 5 mins to infuse. Sieve the confectioners sugar into a bowl and add the lemon/lavender syrup, mix well to desired consistency (I prefer a thicker glaze for scones like these, two thin and it will soak in and ruin the texture, I like to be able to lightly spread it, or just about be able to pour it over.) Pour/spread over the scones after they and the syrup have cooled down.
I like to eat mine plain, Andrew likes his split and lightly buttered, and the original recipe says serve with Lemon Curd! I suppose what we really mean is that they’re bloody good however you have them!! Enjoy.