There are so many reasons to make these scones.
They are made with whole grains (mostly).
They are completely plant-based/vegan.
They are made without vegan butter or oil and still taste tender and soft.
They have less than half the fat of traditional cream scones.
They have Meyer Lemon zest and juice in every delicious bite.
Those are all really good reasons. But the main reason you should stop whatever you are doing and go make these scones right now?
For the smell.
Yes, you read that right. These scones are worth making for the smell alone. When I baked the batch that you see in the photographs, the heavenly scent wafted from the oven into my nose and synapses fired and angels sang and I wanted to drink in that smell.
And then I split a warm scone in half and topped it with coconut oil and raspberry jam and swooned.
The credit for that lovely aroma is given fully to Meyer Lemons. I think that Mother Nature made citrus season in the winter as a way to brighten up these dark, cold days. And Meyer Lemons are an exceptionally sunny and bright weapon against the doldrums of January.
If you’ve never had a Meyer Lemon, they are kind of like if an orange and a lemon moved in together. Citrus roommates? I don’t think I should write late at night anymore. Anyhoo…… Meyer Lemons are thin-skinned, orangey-yellow, and naturally sweeter than regular lemons. They are DELICIOUS. And they are in season right this very minute. Unless you’re not reading this in January in the United States, and in that case they might not be. Sorry about that.
The lemon flavor in these scones comes mostly from the zest. And, actually, any citrus zest has an amazing amount of flavor, because that’s where the natural oils are. Adding too much juice would make the scones taste too acidic, so we only use the juice from one lemon, but use the zest from two lemons. I know that’s kind of a pain, but trust me when I tell you that you will be able to find a use for the juice in that second lemon. Heck, just pour it in some water and your water will be instantly improved.
As the handy little graphic above shows, you’ll get about 1 tablespoon of zest from two Meyer Lemons, and 2 tablespoons of juice from one of those lemons. It probably goes without saying that you should zest before juicing, but I forget sometimes, so I figure I’d mention that little tip. You can use a traditional zester, but my absolute favorite tool for the job is a microplane.
Earlier I mentioned that these scones have half the fat of traditional cream scones. Just how is that accomplished, you might ask. Well, I’ll tell you. Instead of heavy cream, I used cashew cream.
Beth, what the H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks is cashew cream?
Cashew cream is 1 cup of raw cashews pureed with 3 cups of water. That’s it. Seriously. And it is an amazingly wonderful and comparable alternative to heavy cream. I use it all the time, and it is unbelievably versatile. It makes these scones tender and soft, with significantly less fat and calories. Want proof? Here is a side-by-side comparison of the nutrition facts for raw cashews versus heavy cream, in the proportions called for in this recipe.
Pretty amazing, isn’t it?
After you’ve got your lemons zested and juiced, and the cashew cream is ready, putting these scones together is a cinch. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Measure 1 1/3 cups of cashew cream into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, then add the lemon juice and zest, and the vanilla. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients, and gently mix in with your hands or a dough whisk until a soft dough has formed. If the dough seems dry, add a splash more cashew cream until the dough comes together. All the flour should be mixed in, and it shouldn’t be super sticky.
Pat the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut into two pieces. Form two discs with each section of dough, about 6″ in diameter. Cut each circle into 6 wedges, and then brush the tops with cashew cream. You can sprinkle some sugar on and at this point, too. If you rub some Meyer Lemon zest into that sugar before sprinkling, all the better.
Place the wedges on a rimmed baking sheet, and chill in the freezer for about 15 minutes (if you have time), while the oven preheats to 425F. Bake the scones for 14-15 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden brown around the edges.
Whatever you do, do not leave the room while the scones are baking, or you will miss out on the moment that the smell of Meyer Lemon and vanilla sneaks across the room and into your nose. You can thank me later.
In my opinion, the perfect way to top these scones is with some jam, and these two cute little jars feature Oregon Berries! I tried the scones with both the raspberry and blackberry flavors. I loved them both, but the Blackberry was my favorite. It was so fun to know that the farm where the berries were grown is just a car trip away. It made me look forward to summer when I can take Vida berry-picking and pick up a few jars of jam. And this is a total digression, but I can’t talk about jam without thinking of Joey.
If you haven’t already stopped reading this to go to the store, run, don’t walk, to your nearest purveyor of produce, and get yourself some Meyer Lemons. You are only moments away from the best air freshener your oven can bake. And once you come out of your lemon and vanilla reverie, snap a photo of your scone creation and tag #eatwithinyourmeans – it makes my day, truly!
This post was sponsored by the Oregon Raspberry and Blackberry Commission. Thank you for supporting the organizations that help me keep the virtual lights on and the free recipes coming!
Whole Grain Meyer Lemon Scones
- 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup to 1/3 unrefined sugar (to taste)
- 2 Tablespoons Meyer lemon juice (from one lemon)
- 1 Tablespoon Meyer lemon zest (from two lemons)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cups - 1 1/2 cups cashew cream*
- additional cashew cream (for brushing on scones)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick baking mat, if desired.
- Whisk together flours, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
- Zest 2 Meyer Lemons to yield 1 tablespoons of zest, and set aside.
- Juice one of the lemons to yield 2 tablespoons of juice, and set aside. Refrigerate the extra lemon for another use.
- Measure 1 1/3 cup cashew cream into a liquid measuring cup, then stir in the vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
- Slowly add the cashew cream mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring gently until a dough forms, adding additional cashew cream as needed if the dough is dry.
- Lightly flour your work surface. Divide the dough in half, and gently form each half into a 6” circle, about 3/4” thick.
- Cut each circle into 6 wedges, or 8 wedges for slightly smaller scones.
- Brush each circle with cashew cream, and sprinkle on some additional sugar (and zest, if you have any extra).
- Place the wedges on the baking sheet, leaving about 1” of space between each scone.
- If you have time, chill the scones in the freezer for about 15 minutes, which will help with rising.
- Bake the scones for 14-15 minutes, until starting to turn golden on the edges, and baked all the way through with no wet centers.
- Serve warm, topped with vegan butter or coconut oil and, of course, some Oregon Berry Jam!
- Store leftovers in an airtight container, and reheat for 5-7 minutes at 325°F until warmed through.