It’s that time of year again! The blackberries are ripening and popping up everywhere–on the side of the road, in parks, in backyards, in the cracks on the sidewalk. Every year, one of my very good friends and I pick buckets of blackberries and have a long hot day in the kitchen of making jam. We usually make enough jam to share around with our friends and family and store some through the winter. It’s not quite time for jam making; as you can see the berries have a ways to go to be really ripe. There are still lots of red ones, but enough ripe ones for a small project. My sister and her girlfriend are in town and so we went out to the local park for a quick little berry picking excursion–enough for some baking projects. We ended up picking more berries than we had anticipated actually. I’m not sure if it’s just because we were earlier this year than usual, and this summer hasn’t had as many hot days, but the blackberries this year are TART! I like a tart berry, but these really get you behind the ears in that sour spot.
Anyway, the first night, we decided to make a cobbler. I did not use a recipe for the topping; I just improvised and went by taste. The great thing about vegan baking is that you can taste the batter or dough as much as you want and you don’t have to worry about getting sick from raw eggs. I miscalculated the timing for baking the cobbler and cooking dinner and had just put the cobbler in when we realized we needed to bake the flat bread my sister had made for dinner. So, after 10 minutes of baking, I took the cobbler out, set it aside, and waited 30 minutes until the flatbreads were done. Then, we put the cobbler back in and baked it for 30 minutes. We took it out and let it cool, only to find that the topping wasn’t cooked completely. So we put it back in the oven and baked it longer. It was a bumpy ride for that poor cobbler. And after all of that, we tasted it and I hadn’t put enough sweetener in the berries, so it was quite tart. Needless to say, it was not the perfect cobbler and so I’m leaving off the pictures and the recipes until I perfect it and maybe try baking it without the periods of “relaxation” out of the oven in the middle of the baking process.The next day, I made blackberry scones, which turned out quite nicely and so I’ll share the recipe with you all.
Blackberry Scones: The Recipe
Makes 18-24 scones, depending on size
35 minutes total: 10 minutes active prep; up to 25 minutes baking time
4 cups unbleached flour (you can use part whole wheat, if you prefer)
2 1/2 Tbl baking powder
6 Tbl sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbl apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup oil
1 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups blackberries
2 Tbl agave
Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a separate small mixing bowl, stir blackberries together with agave and set aside:
Make an indent in the dry ingredients and add in remaining (wet) ingredients:
Using a fork, gently fold wet ingredients into dry. When partially folded, fold in blackberries. It’s okay if some of them get squished in the process, but try to keep some whole. This dough should be treated like biscuit dough. In other words, handle it as little as possible. Sometimes I use my hands to fold the dough a bit at the end. Flour a clean surface, or use a piece of parchment paper to cover a clean surface. Transfer dough to surface and press gently with your hands to flatten the dough out to 3/4 inch thick:
Using a biscuit cutter, a knife, or a cookie cutter, cut out the shapes you want. I did one pan with mini scones (1 inch diameter) and one pan with regular sized scones (3 inch diameter). Place them at least an inch apart on a non-stick pan, or on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees F. You may need to bake longer for the regular sized ones. The blackberries slow down the cooking process. Just poke them with a toothpick or knife to see if they’re done. There you go! Easy, delicious scones for breakfast, afternoon tea, or for whatever other occasion you like to eat scones.
Notes: The mini scones were a creative solution to my sister’s girlfriend having room to take scones back on the plane with her. She didn’t have any room in her bags at all, so she suggested scones that would fit insider her water bottle, since that was unused space! So, we made these tiny scones and she filled her water bottle with them. I think I ended up liking the mini ones best! My husband got us one of those non-stick baking mats, which I was wary of at first because of the idea of cooking on silicon. But now, I’m totally in love with it because it is so easy to use and wash and the lazy person in me doesn’t have to grease a baking pan.
Until next time! Hope you enjoy the summery sconey goodness as much as we are. Do you have a favorite summery blackberry recipe?