When I heard plans for our virtual British afternoon tea, I immediately thought of strawberries and cream. I know, I know, more Wimbledon than tea party, but I couldn't shake the idea and decided to morph it into something you would normally see at a tea party... scones!
My incarnation of strawberries and cream turned into a strawberry basil scone served with coconut cream. Dehydrating the berries a bit helped prevent adding alot of extra moisture to the scones. They were quite delicious, especially served alongside some tea, however I realized that I don't have any "proper" tea cups! Please excuse the oversize mugs that I'm partial to :)
Strawberry Basil Scones w/Coconut Cream
scones adapted from A Cozy Kitchen, coconut cream from Cook's Illustrated (found here)
yield: 6 scones
If you have a chance, put your coconut milk in the fridge the day or two before you're planning on making the scones, it will help solidify the cream of coconut!
For the scones:
8 medium strawberries, quartered
1c flour (I used a mix of white whole wheat, oat and cake flour*)
1 1/2t baking powder
1 1/2T evaporated cane juice (or granulated sugar)
1/4t fine sea salt
2 1/2T unsalted butter, cold (could use Earth Balance to make these completely dairy-free)
6 medium basil leaves
1/2c coconut milk (full fat, or heavy cream), plus a little extra
For the coconut cream:
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 1/2t evaporated cane juice (or granulated sugar)
1/2t vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 200deg.
Place strawberries on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake the strawberries for 45min-1hr, until they are slightly dehydrated. Set aside to cool.
Turn the oven to 425deg. Place a mixing bowl and beaters into the freezer.
In a medium bowl, add flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Whisk together. Grate in butter and using your hands, quickly work the butter into the flour until it resembles a coarse meal. Chiffonade basil leaves (roll into a cigar and slice, creating ribbons) and add them to the flour/butter mixture along with the strawberries. Gently combine and then pour in coconut milk and mix until the dough begins to form, ~30sec.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand just until it comes together into a rough, slightly sticky ball, 5-10sec. Pat dough into a 1" thick circle and cut into 6 wedges (or 4 or 8, if you prefer). Put scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with coconut milk and then bake 12-15min, until scones are light brown.
While the scones are baking, remove the can of coconut milk from the fridge and the bowl/beaters from the freezer. Using a spoon, take off the top layer of cream that should have formed (reminded me of shortening) and add it to the bowl. Add in the sugar, vanilla and pinch of salt. Beat on low speed until small bubbles form, ~30sec. Increase the speed to high and beat until the cream thickens and light peaks form, ~2min. Refrigerate until your scones are done cooling.
Once the scones are done, transfer them to a wire rack for at least 10min to cool before serving with coconut cream.
*Yes, I need to go to the store!
Have you ever been to an afternoon tea? What's your favorite treat?