Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Buckwheat Rhubarb Scones

I almost skipped over a bunch of recipes because I don’t have good pictures. Like the decadent croissant French toast or the delicious, albeit in my case homely, hazelnut pavlova with vanilla-scented rhubarb. But I figure I should post one more rhubarb recipe this year, so rhubarb scones it is! The pairing is actually a great idea, since rhubarb and buckwheat are in the same family. It’s originally a gluten-free recipe, and I have to admit that looking at the pictures from the original post, those scones look way better than mine. However, since I am not in my regular home with my regular pantry, I didn’t have what I wanted to make a gluten-free flour mix and ended up using the equivalent weight of wheat flour. The scones were still very good, but felt more like cake than scones.
The recipe called for rhubarb jam, so I adapted this rhubarb jam recipe by scaling it down, to yield one jar of it (enough for the recipe and then some).

I served the scones with leftover jam and rhubarb curd.

For the rhubarb jam
1 lb. rhubarb
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
½ lemon, juiced, seeds reserved in a cheesecloth pouch or tea ball

Place a small plate in the freezer.

Place the rhubarb, sugar, water, and lemon juice, spent half, and seeds (they provide the necessary pectin) in a large bowl and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.

Pour the contents of the bowl into a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to cook, stirring the jam constantly, for about 15 minutes. Skim the foam from the surface as the jam cooks.

Drop the heat to medium. Hold the jam at a constant simmer, checking frequently to make sure the jam isn’t scorched at the bottom of the pot. After 15 minutes, check to see if your jam has set by placing a small spoonful of jam on the plate from the freezer. The rhubarb jam is set when it holds its shape on the cool plate. If it seems loose, continue cooking over medium-low heat until set.

Remove the seed bag and lemon half and discard. Place the rhubarb jam in a jar.

For the scones
115 g. buckwheat flour
140 g. gluten-free all-purpose flour mix (or all-purpose wheat flour)
¼ cup dark brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 ¼ tsp. kosher salt
115 g. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter or vegan margarine, cut into ½-inch pieces
½ cup buttermilk (lactose-free milk with a splash of lemon juice)
1 large egg, at room temperature
½ cup rhubarb jam (see above)

Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Sift together the buckwheat flour, gluten-free all-purpose flour mix, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add the cold butter pieces to the dry ingredients. Use your hands to work the butter into the flour, slowly, until the butter is the size of lima beans. Move as quickly as you can without becoming frantic.

In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Dribble them into the buttery dough. Stir with a rubber spatula until the dough comes together fairly well. It might still be dry in places and it should not look like a coherent dough ball. However, if you can pinch some of it between your thumb and fingers, and it holds together, you’re ready. (If the dough is still too dry, dribble a tablespoon of buttermilk at a time and stir until the dough feels right.)

Sprinkle a little extra gluten-free all-purpose flour mix onto the counter. Carefully, plop the dough onto the floured counter. Move the dough between your hands, folding and twisting it around, until it’s a ball of dough. Cut the ball in half. Pat each ball of dough into a disc about ¾-inch thick and 7 inches across.

Put one disc of dough onto the baking sheet. Spread the rhubarb jam onto the disc of dough carefully, leaving about 1 inch of space on the edges. Put the other disc of dough on top. Using a sharp knife, cut the scone dough into 8 wedges. Spread them out a bit on the baking sheet.

Bake the scones for 10 to 12 minutes, then rotate the baking sheet. Bake until the scones are golden-brown on top and the jam and rhubarb have bubbled onto the baking sheet, about another 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Allow the scones to sit for 10 minutes, then move them to a cooling rack.

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