Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Blackberry Sorbet - Vegan, Gluten-Free

we grow an odd sort of blackberry in the bramble patch - no one's entirely sure what variety it is. The fruits are massive, nearly black and just barely sweet. This final quality makes them ideal for preparations with added sugar, such as jam or sorbet, in which the tart, rich flavor of the berries is concentrated without being overwhelmed by the sweetness.

blackberry sorbet

Blackberry Sorbet
makes about three pints

1 C water
2 C sugar
pinch kosher salt
3.5 C strained blackberry puree (see note)
1 T lemon juice

in a small saucepan, combine water, sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and stir til sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and cool completely. Stir into blackberry puree and add lemon juice. Chill this base at least 4 hours or overnight.

Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturers instrictions. (I use a kitchenaid ice cream churn attachment on my mixer; this sorbet takes about 7-12 minutes to freeze properly.)

Moving quickly, pack finished sorbet into one large freezer-safe container for storage or several smaller 1/2pt containers for sharing. Freeze 2 hours before serving. Keeps up to 3 months in freezer.

note: to prepare blackberry puree, whiz up 4 to 4.5 C blackberries (depending on size of fruits) in a blender until mostly smooth. Pass puree through mesh sieve into a large pitcher, to remove seeds and fruit centers; a spatula is helpful to speed up the straining process.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Only Scone Recipe You'll Need - Vegan

These scones are versatile, slightly sweet and incredibly easy to prepare; the fact that they're vegan as well makes them a mildly healthful, tasty breakfast/brunch/anytime snack for almost everyone at your table. (a gluten-free option is on the agenda, have no fear.)

blueberry coconut scones
the scones shown are blueberry-oat, prepared with ground toasted oats for the non-wheat flour portion of the recipe.

Scones - the only recipe you need
makes eight regular scones or sixteen mini-scones

1.5 C all-purpose flour
.5 C non-wheat meal or flour*, or additional all-purpose flour
2 t baking powder
.5 t baking soda
.5 t kosher salt
1 t dried spice, as needed

2 T non-hydrogenated vegan margarine
.25 C non-hydrogenated cold-pres palm shortening

.75 C non-dairy milk of your choice
.5 t vinegar

.75 C total of additions (dried fruit, unsweetened shredded coconut,candied ginger, chocolate chips, nuts, etc.

additional non-dairy milk for brushing
additional sugar for topping

On a small plate, work together the margarine and shortening with the back of a spoon until the fats are somewhat short of homogenous.

Combine dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Cut in the fats with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-sized pieces remaining. Stir in milk mixture until the dough just comes together. Stir in mix-ins.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead once or twice to ensure mix-ins are incorporated. Pat out into a rough circle about 9 inches accross and cut into eight wedges. For mini scones, roll into a rectangle of about 4-inches by 12-inches and cut into quarters; cut each quarter into triangles.

Place scones on a lined baking sheet and brush with additonal non-dairy milk. Sprinkle with additional sugar, if desired. Bake 10-15 minutes for full-size scones, 5-10 for mini scones, until golden brown. Cool slightly on pan before serving.

*options for non-wheat meal or flour include: corn meal, coconut flour, ground toasted oats or barley flakes, white whole wheat flour, nut flours, etc.

blueberry coconut scones