Reaching for an afternoon snack is a fairly regular routine for most people. Whether it’s framed in the elegant ritual of tea service on a Sunday afternoon, or the more common, Venti to go, with a mass-produced pastry from a display case between week day meetings; a lite bite between lunch and dinner has almost become a necessity. It helps to keep us satiated till supper time, keeping us alert and avoiding a pre-dinner slump (much like the origins of Afternoon tea).
It is believed that afternoon tea became a trend around the 1840’s, when the Duchess of Bedford requested a post luncheon snack to ease hunger spells while waiting for the evening meal to be served. (Affluent households fashionably served dinner around 8 o’clock at night). The Duchess enjoyed sharing this new habit of tea, cakes, bread and butter with friends; and it caught on.
One of the treats served with afternoon tea is believed to be the humble scone, something I am embarrassed to say that I had never eaten till about three years ago. When I managed my catering business, I often worked local farmer’s markets and had a loyal following of clients who came for my gluten free selection of goodies. My flour based selection included cinnamon buns and I wanted to include something on the gluten free menu that could mirror the buns as a breakfast, or afternoon snack option. Enter the scone.
I knew nothing about scones and neither did Rock Star hubby. We had both eaten English muffins, biscuits and even crumpets, but not scones. I set out to find a gluten free version that would yield a product that my customers would enjoy: Happily, I was successful, and they sold out regularly.
When I shut down my business, I packed away the recipe and forgot about it. Fast forward to present day, and I find myself digging it up, ready to be included in the afternoon snack rotation for Rock Star hubby.
This recipe yields a dry crumb that is delightful. We both thoroughly enjoy a scone in the afternoon, but with our coffee rather than a tea, while we discuss the events of our day. Not as formidable or lavish as the Duchess of Bedford, but effective at keeping hunger at bay, and more importantly yummy. —Theressa Cummings
Sweet sorghum flour
Coconut sugar (or any other type of sugar)
In a measuring cup, measure non-dairy milk, and add apple cider vinegar. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, toast chopped walnuts for 5-8 minutes, till lightly browned. Remove and set aside. Increase temperature of the oven to 450 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, or silpat.
In a bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients till well blended.
Cut Earth Balance into dry mixture, and using pastry blender, or a fork, or two knives, ‘cut’ the Earth Balance into the flour mixture until crumbly and well incorporated, being careful not to cream the mixture.
Slowly drizzle some of the non-dairy milk into the mixture and stir. It is likely that you may not need the full amount of non-dairy milk poured into the batter. Temperature, altitude and humidity will affect the amount of liquid that will be added. Ideally, the batter should come together, but not become too wet, and sticky. (I often have about a ¼ cup of liquid remaining)
Gently fold the pears and cooled walnuts into the batter.
Using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter onto prepared cookie sheet. Rub some Earth Balance onto your hands and gently press down on the scooped batter to flatten slightly (Not too much…).
Bake at 450 for approximately 14-15 minutes.
Serve with jam, or sweetened 'butter' with walnuts: Cream 2 TBS Earth balance with 2 tsp agave, maple syrup or honey and 2 tsp chopped walnuts. Enjoy.