by Aileen Metcalf
This Wednesday instead of a North & South Nomads recipe post or restaurant review, we have a guest post recipe from the gorgeous Aileen Metcalf from Morsels & Moonshine. Her bio and social media contacts are at the end of this post.
I’m thrilled to be here at North & South Nomads!
Today, I’m going to be sharing a recipe for homemade scones using pine syrup. I’m always amazed when I see pancake and scone mixes in the stores, because these things are so easy to make on their own! No mix is needed.
When I approached Jessica about writing a guest post, I told her that I had a globe-hopping story to go along with it. I thought that it would pair with her blog so well!
One of my oldest friends, Rebecca Svetina, lives in Slovenia. (You may know her from viral video fame. Just one of the most popular videos of the year: Casey the Schnauzer faints!) We grew up together near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and have been friends since middle school. We went to separate colleges, but always remained close. Following graduation, Rebecca received a grant to spend a year abroad in Slovenia…and she never came back! She fell in love with a wonderful Slovene man named Miha and they were married in August 2013.
A few months ago, she sent me an email, asking if I wanted some homemade pine syrup when she came back for a month in the summer. I said, “Sure, that sounds interesting,” not really knowing what that even meant.
From what Rebecca described to me, the process is pretty simple: you collect a decent pile of fresh pine needles, straight from the tree. Next, have a bunch of clean jars ready to go along with some white or brown sugar (make sure it’s vegan!). Layer about ¼ inch of sugar on the bottom of the jar and layer it with pine needles. Alternate between the two and seal the jar. Allow the jars to sit for about 40 days. It’s a pretty simple process, but I found a Slovenian link that describes it well here.
It may not be a surprise to you, but this syrup pairs very well with gin. In case you can’t tell from the name of my blog, Morsels and Moonshine, I always have a boozy ingredient in the mix. The syrup itself doesn’t have a weirdly strong pine flavor; it’s actually subtle and pretty good! I recommend testing it out.
Scones are one of my absolute favorite baked goods. The secret to this recipe is the bread flour – it adds such a cakey, doughy texture. I hope you like these scones as much as I do!
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour, like Bob’s Red Mill
1 c. bread flour
1 ½ T. organic sugar
1 T. baking powder, aluminum-free
½ tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. baking soda
6 T. organic, non-hydrogenated palm shortening, like Spectrum
½ c. almond milk, or other non-dairy milk, very cold
½ c. goji berries or dried cranberries
¼ c. homemade pine syrup (recipe here)
1 c. sliced almonds, for topping
a baking sheet
parchment paper or a Silpat mat
a large cookie scoop or ice cream scoop
one large mixing bowl
Before you’re ready to begin, put the measured shortening into the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat mat. This recipe makes 9-12 scones, depending on the size of your scooper.
In a mixing bowl or food process, cream the shortening with the dry ingredients: flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add in the milk and pine syrup while continuing to mix. Stir in the berries last.
Using your scoop, scoop out a section of dough. You can do this two ways: shaped or non-shaped. To shape, use your fingers to make a triangle shape. I lined up my almonds to resemble a pine cone shape, which you can totally do! The easier way is to scoop the scones out and dunk them in the sliced almonds. Hey, it all tastes the same. I did both.
Bake the scones for 12-15 minutes. Allow the scones to cool completely.
For the glaze: in a small cup, combine about a ½ cup of vegan powdered sugar, a little splash of gin, and a dollop of pine syrup. It should be the consistency of Elmer’s Glue. If it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar; if it’s too stiff, add more gin or syrup.
Enjoy making this pine syrup and these scrumptious scones! They make such a great addition to any breakfast or brunch.
Aileen Metcalf, an English grad turned blogger, fused her love of writing with her passion for mindful eating. On her vegan dessert blog, Morsels and Moonshine, Aileen focuses on using sustainable whole foods without compromising flavor. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest page.