A tussie mussie of foraged spring beauties sits on the windowsill above our kitchen sink - the light mauve, deep burnt orange and faded yellow petals of wild freesias sit below pink-stained star-shaped petals of whimsical jasmine stems. Their fragrance the epitome of spring.
There is a change in the air. The mornings become lighter. The birds begin their chorus earlier. The days become more alive - its as if nature is singing, shes opening up once again after the dark, damp, cold days and weeks of winter. Her song is very much welcomed.
I thought what better way to celebrate than by baking a batch of scones, studded with ruby-red rhubarb and the tangy zest of lemon for freshness. I was mesmerised as the jasmine-scented icing slowly fell from my antique spoon, forming thin whirls over the golden, buttery, still-warm treats. I was in bliss as I sat out under the warm rays of the sun to enjoy one after capturing them on my camera. However, there was no dilly-dallying around to savour every mouthful...oh no, there was a certain little boy with a nose for anything sweet who was creeping about and would have, if I took my eye off him, gobbled up every last crumb! Why he even managed to drink the last half of my warm beverage...but that's Beau bear!
The recipe for these has been adapted from The Kitchenista Diaries, Strawberry buttermilk scones with lemon glaze. Angela also has some really great tips included in her blog post. These are American scones and are very different from British scones but are delicious and well worth baking all the same.
Rhubarb & Lemon scones with a jasmine scented drizzle
1 cup diced rhubarb, about two large stems, halved down the middle and diced
1 cup of plain flour
1 cup of wholemeal flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bi-carb soda
1 teaspoon salt
a few grinds of black pepper
3 tablesppons raw sugar
zest of a lemon
90g frozen butter
1 free range egg
3/4 cup buttermilk (or full cream milk with 1 tsp of vinegar or lemon juice added and stirred)
1/4 cup thickened cream
For the Jasmine sugar syrup
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup of picked pink jasmine flowers (jasminum polyanthum)
For the drizzle
1/2 cup of icing sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of jasmine syrup (or more if needed)
Place the flours, baking powder, bi-carb soda, salt, pepper, sugar and lemon zest in a medium mixing bowl and whisk together to combine.
Add the egg, milk and cream into a seperate bowl and whisk together until smooth. set asisde while you grate the butter using the large holes of a box grater into the flour mixture. Gently toss the butter and flour together and then pour in the milk mixture, followed by 3/4 of the rhubarb and using your hands, gently bring it together to a sticky dough.
Turn out the dough onto a floured bench and dust with flour. using your hands or a dough scraper fold the dough over itself three times, a side over to the other side, and then that side over to the other side and then take it up from the bottom and you have your three folds.
Press the dough into a circle, roughly 2.5cm thick. Then cut the dough into 8 wedges. Place each wedge onto a lined baking tray keeping each one at least 5cm apart. Press the remaining rhubarb into the tops of the scones and then place into the fridge for 20 minutes or so while you preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius.
Meanwhile you can make your sugar syrup. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil , stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Boil for a minute and then remove from the heat and pop the flowers in to steep for at least an hour. This will make slightly more than what you will need for the drizzle but you can pour it into a jar and keep it in the fridge. It can be used to drizzle over your next lemon cake or stirred into a glass of sparkling water or used where any sort of sugar syrup is required.
For the icing you will need to mix everything together until its a thick, pourable consisitency. It should fall off the spoon in ribbons.
Brush your scones with a little extra cream or buttermilk using a pastry brush and Place your chilled scones into the oven for about 18-20 minutes or until golden. Allow the scones to cool, only slightly before drizzling with the icing. Pop the kettle on and put your feet up in a quiet spot (or at least try to anyway if you have little kiddies) and then maybe you might need to share one with them too.
They are best eaten on the day they are made, but arent too bad the next day. I have also frozen them and then reheated them in the oven by wrapping them in some foil. You could even toast them as well.