Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Coconut Jam and Blackberry Scones

I was listening to Billie Holiday a few days ago. Her voice soothes me in my solitude.
I've been at home this week and in a truly wildly, strange and horrible turn of events, I've decided to stay at home for a while. On the first day, I felt triumphant! The second day, I felt strategic; the third day, I felt lost and I desperately found a million things to do...which included coconut cajeta.

On this fourth day, I felt lonely with nothing to console me except for the pleasant voice of Nigella Lawson on TV. I wanted to make a quick breakfast that was comforting and sweet and since I wont be getting a paycheck in a while, used up some of the fruit I had in stock. I needed something that I could eat just one of. Or two. Something I could eat with that creamy coconut jam and enjoy with a cup of coffee, out on my patio all by myself.

Blackberry scones, you have made my morning. Coconut jam, you are so lovely. Thanks for hanging out with me today. Love, Mariel

             Blackberry Scones     Makes 6
 (Adapted from Joy the Baker's Lavender Blackberry Scones)
             1 ½ cup         Flour
             ¼ cup            Sugar
             1 ¼ tsp.         Baking Powder
             1 ¼ tsp.         Baking Soda
             ¾ tsp.            Salt
             1/3 cup          Butter, cold and cut into chunks
             1 ea.                Egg, divided in half
             1/3 cup           Buttermilk
             ½ tsp.            Vanilla Extract
             ½ cup             Blackberries
             Preheat oven to 400°

       1.     In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside. In a small measuring cup, whisk the egg and then pour half of it into a smaller bowl for the egg wash. Add the buttermilk and vanilla to the egg and set aside.
2.     Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or by working quickly with your fingers to create coarse crumbles.
3.     Pour the egg and buttermilk mixture into the flour and toss gently with your fingers to incorporate just until everything comes together. Add the blackberries.
4.     Drop the dough out onto a floured surface and gently knead about 10-15 times until everything is uniform. Form the dough into a disc and gently dust a rolling pin.
5.     Roll the dough to about ¾ of an inch to about an inch and cut rounds with a 2 ½ inch biscuit cutter. Set 2 inches apart on a lined baking sheet.
6.     Mix 1 Tbsp. of water in with the remaining egg and brush over the tops of the scones and then sprinkle generously with granulated sugar.
Note: I use my coarse, Mexican, “Azucar Morena” that has a great molasses-y scent, and I have stuck in a few leftover vanilla pods into make an aromatic vanilla sugar. It is available in the Hispanic section of the supermarket. Or, if you cannot find it, just use organic cane sugar.
7.     Bake for 14-18 minutes or until the tops are a light, golden brown.
*To double this recipe, use 2 whole eggs and remove only about a tablespoon of beaten egg for the egg wash. Everything else can be simply doubled.

Coconut Jam  Makes 1 Cup
AKA coconut cajeta and coconut dulce de leche and it is totally vegan!

1 can (15oz.)             Coconut milk-I used Chakoh
¾ cup                       Brown Sugar, Packed
½ tsp.                       Salt

1.     In a bowl, stir together all of the ingredients until the sugar is just about dissolved. Pour into at least a 4 quart pot.
2.     Turn the heat onto medium high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. The milk will bubble up and then slowly subside with gentle, occasional stirring.
3.     Lower the heat to medium so the mixture is at a rapid simmer. Continue stirring every few minutes to make sure the bottom does not scorch for about 12-15 minutes.
4.     Remove from the heat and pour through a strainer to get out any scorched bits and pour into a glass or heatproof bowl to cool. Once it has cooled a bit, but is still liquid, pour into a glass jar and chill completely. Store in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks with the jar covered tightly.

You can easily double this recipe, just adjust the cooking time to about 5-7 minutes longer.

This is an unusually sad post. But don’t worry, I’m ok! If you haven’t noticed, I have had a lot more time to write and post, so, to be honest, I’m pretty stoked! I’ll just go about, doing my thing, baking, writing, and being thankful for the incredible people and support system I have in my life.

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