Welcome to my blog, through which I hope to be able to share my experiences of gluten free cooking, baking, experimenting and eating.
When my daughter was diagnosed (age 6) with Coeliac Disease, our world of eating changed overnight. From breads, pastry and pasta to cakes, biscuits and puddings.......... suddenly most of what we knew was 'off the menu'. I think I must have tested every available gluten free product on the market, seeking out replacements to try and keep things as normal as possible. I was disappointed to find that what was available was often dry, crumbly and flavourless.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to turn my kitchen into a laboratory, turn all I knew about cooking on its head and start creating!

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Best Ever Gluten Free Scones with Simple (lower-sugar) Home-Made Strawberry Jam


Although I have made some amazing scones since going gluten free, I have been seeking the perfect plain gluten free scone recipe for a long time. In my search, I have frequently asked myself the question 'what makes a great scone?' When I ask the question, I recall my pre-gluten free days and some of the best Cream Teas in my history.

One of my favourite nostalgic Cream Tea memories dates back (way too many) years to when I was a mere slip of an adolescent and I took a holiday to Devon with my sister in the family 'hand me down' orange Mini. In those days, Minis were tiny and noisy, but so so much fun. I still have the number plate indelibly etched on my brain, so memorable was that Mini...... RUR 598M! Yep..... we've been through the number plate suffix and prefix year 'letters' and have completely revamped to numbers since then...... Old I may be, but I am proud to say that we owned a Mini in the 70's...... It was bright, it was bold and it was fun.


But back to Cream Teas..... We took this Mini down the then empty motorways to Devon and there we stayed (with my brother's ex-girlfriend) in the palm-lined town of Torquay. We did what any self-respecting young women do and sought out beaches to lie on..... and the best ice creams, fish and chips and cream teas we could find. We were of an age when eating vast quantities of sugar, carbs and fats made little dent on our weight, so we indulged to our limits.....

Down there in Badgers Holt, we found the best, softest, tallest, jamiest, clotted creamiest Cream Tea ever. The weather was scorching and we took our two huge scones (each!) and accompanying tea pots outside, where we sat on a grassy bank and scoffed until we were bursting....... compelled to lie on the grass for a good couple of hours, before we could subject our stuffed bodies to further movement........ A memory was made!


What made these scones so good? They were perfect of texture...... Soft, but close of crumb and slightly dense...... Tall in rise, with little crinkles and cracks around the edges, but still slightly warm..... Mild in flavour, but with a hint of sweetness to complement the cream and jam which was generously delivered..... Rich, decadent, smooth, creamy, slightly clumpy-topped dollops of West-Country Clotted Cream spread in a thick layer across the top of each half-scone, begging to be crowned with a spoonful of joyous, dark red, gooey strawberry jam.

There you have it..... the perfect Cream Tea..... just needing to be recreated with a culinary update that is gluten free.

And here it is. The best gluten free scones..... No. The best scones I have ever eaten! Made with a rice free flour blend which is light and oh so soft to the touch, moistening buttermilk and a little ground almond, these gluten free scones are incredible..... And whereas gluten free scones will often be stale and hard within hours, these are still soft two to three days after they come out of the oven.


The jam is also home-made, with our wonderful local Kent strawberries..... At this time of year, I feel so lucky to live in the Garden of England. I often think jam is going to be a hassle to make, but it isn't and is well worth a little effort for the fruity satisfaction it gives. Better still.... this recipe has a lower sugar content for less guilt and all the pleasure. I have shared my recipe below, although there really is no magic to making it!

As I don't have any cows or a dairy, the Clotted Cream is my very favourite.... Rodda's.... all the way from Cornwall!

So before the summer is out, why don't you create your own Cream Tea memory with these delicious gluten free scones...... I promise you won't regret it......


I am sharing the Gluten Free Alchemist Best Ever Gluten Free Scones with Simple (lower sugar) Home-Made Strawberry Jam  with :

Recipe of the Week with A Mummy Too

Bake of the Week with Casa Costello








Brilliant Blog Posts with Honest Mum

Cook Blog Share - this week with Easy Peasy Foodie

Fiesta Friday #183



Treat Petite with The Baking Explorer

Simple & in Season with Feeding Boys







Baking Crumbs - A brand new linky with Only Crumbs Remain

Inheritance Recipes with Pebble Soup and Coffee & Vanilla

Also celebrating International Scone Week from 7th to 13th August with Lavender & Lime
#ISW2017




Other gluten free scones on Gluten Free Alchemist :

Blueberry & Lemon Buttermilk Scones
Chocolate Chocolate Chipe Scones with Nutella Mascarpone Cream and Roasted Caramelised Hazelnut Crumbs
Asparagus & Stilton Scones
Cheese Scones (no buttermilk)
Sun-dried Tomato, Cheese & Basil Scones
Best Buttermilk Cheese Scones

Buttermilk Scones (makes  10 to 12 large scones)

Ingredients

320g plain gluten free flour blend (I used my GFA Rice Free Blend that you can find here or an alternative blend would be the Free From Fairy Rice Free blend - see side bar for link)
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
pinch fine sea salt
50g ground almonds
1 tablespoon GF baking powder
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
90g unsalted butter - cold and cubed
30g caster sugar
1 large egg - beaten
1 pot (284 ml) buttermilk

a beaten egg mixed with a little milk for glazing


Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F/Gas 6. Line a couple of baking trays with baking paper and set aside. 
  2. Weigh and mix together the flour, xanthan gum, salt, almonds, baking powder, and bicarbonate of soda until well-blended (I weigh mine into an airtight container and shake vigorously). Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Rub the cold butter into the flour mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. 
  4. Add the sugar and stir through.
  5. Make a well in the centre and add the beaten egg and buttermilk. 
  6. Use a flat-bladed knife to mix the wet ingredients into the dry, until it clumps together and continue to mix, until it comes together as a very sticky dough. If it looks like the dough is too dry, then add a little milk. 
  7. Lay a large piece of baking paper on the work surface and sprinkle liberally with gluten free flour/tapioca flour. 
  8. Flour your hands well and gently bring the dough together. It should be quite wet.
  9. Tip the dough out onto the floured baking paper, sprinkle a little more flour on the top and lay a further piece of baking paper over. 
  10. Gently roll out the dough between the paper to a depth of about 3 to 4 cm.
  11. Use a round/fluted cookie cutter (I used one 3 inches/7 cm) to cut rounds from the dough and carefully transfer them to the lined baking sheets.
  12. Bring any remaining dough gently together (trying not to over-work) and repeat the rolling and cutting process, until all the dough has been used and transferred to the baking sheets.
  13. Brush the top of each scone with egg-wash and bake in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until well-risen, firm and golden.
  14. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. 
  15. Eat warm or cold, with butter and/or jam and/or cream. 
  16. Store the scones in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days if necessary. 

Simple (lower-sugar) Strawberry Jam (makes 2 jars of jam)

Ingredients

1 kilo/2.2 pounds fresh strawberries - trimmed, hulled and cut in half
375g granulated sugar
60 ml lemon juice

Method

  1. Sterilise a couple of jam jars whilst you make your jam : Wash the jars in warm soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Place the clean jars and lids (rubber seals removed if using Kilner jars - these should be washed in boiling water) on a baking tray and place in the oven. Turn the oven on and heat to 140 C/275 F/Gas 1. Leave at heated oven temperature for at least 20 minutes whilst you make your jam.
  2. Place all the ingredients into a large, heavy-based saucepan and gently heat, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved. 
  3. Bring the mixture to the boil stirring frequently, breaking down the strawberries with the back of a spoon.
  4. Use a cooking thermometer (I use a Thermapen) and continue to boil, stirring frequently until the liquid reduces significantly and the temperature reaches jam set point (220 F/105 C).
  5. Remove from the heat and carefully pour into the sterilised jars straight away and top with the lids (be careful not to burn your fingers). As the jam cools, the tightly screwed lids will 'suck in' to create a sterile vacuum.
  6. Cool completely.

Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-17 unless otherwise indicated

31 comments:

  1. These look really wonderful - I have had some great scones out at cafes and tearooms but I think the best were my mothers and grandmothers. But I did visit torquay in the UK once and now wish I had know about those scones even if I could not have arrived in the great style that an orange mini brings :-)

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    1. Thank you Johanna. I don't recall my mother making many scones.... she was more of a cake baker. Thank goodness for holidays in Devon and Cornwall, or I may have been seriously deprived!

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  2. Wow - these scones look awesome! You would never guess they were gluten free...I am a huge fan of scones, but I am afraid I still can't fathom why anyone would want to put the cream on first ;-) Sorry!! But then I did live in Cornwall for many years, which probably explains my preference. Thanks for linking them up to #CookBlogShare :-D Eb x

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    1. Thanks Eb. I do love it when I manage to create something that gives gluten a beating!
      The cream-jam/jam-cream thing is interesting. It does seem to get people fired up. I am not sure I honestly care which way round they end up..... either way they taste great! x

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  3. I am drooling over these!! These sound so delicious! Thanks for sharing at Fiesta Friday party!

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  4. These look amazing! I want one now! And I agree that cream must go first because I'm in Devon 😀

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    1. Thanks Vicki. I think the jam looks prettier on the top! x

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  5. These look absolutely amazing Kate, and as Eb says you really wouldn't know they were GF - such a great bake and with the cream and jam the right way around ;-)
    Angela x

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  6. PS, thankyou so much for joining in with #BakingCrumbs
    Angela x

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    1. Thanks Angela. You're welcome. Great to have a new linky to join xx

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  7. Another amazing GF creation! They look stunning too! Thanks for linking up with #TreatPetite

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    1. Ah thank you Kat. I was rather chuffed with them! x

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  8. well you certainly would know by looking at them they were gluten free! I have given them a special mention in tomorrows #CookBlogShare

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    1. Thank you so much Jacqueline. If they don't look gluten free, then I have done a good job! x

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  9. I'd love to have one of these because they look absolutely delicious! Happy Fiesta!

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  10. mmmmm how good do your scones look Kate? Lovely golden brown colour and again, you would never guess that they are GF going on their looks. I am sure they tasted just as delicious too. I do love a scone with ham and clotted cream, its funny that living in Devon I don't actually eat them very often!
    thank you for linking up to #Bakeoftheweek x

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    1. Thank You Jenny. Your comment made me smile! I think there is a typo, but the idea of 'ham' and clotted cream somehow tickled me!
      Either way, I do love a scone and I think if I was in Devon, I would have found all the best GF ones and be eating them way too often. xx

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  11. I do love a good and well risen scone and indeed these look fabulous GF or not, I would def love to try one or maybe two.

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    1. Thanks Shaheen. Me too! I will definitely be making these again very soon xx

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  12. We had the best cream tea ever at Widecombe in the Moor - so close to Badgers Holt. It must be something in the air there. Thank you so much for taking part :)

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    1. You're welcome. Devon and Cornwall are definitely the best places to head for a Cream Tea.... although I think you may need to pick your destination based on jam or cream on the scone first! xx

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  13. Your scones look gorgeous and I love your not so sweet jam! Can I ask are you using photo shop with your beautiful photography? It's just that I don't and my photos are different.

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    1. Thanks Monika. The jam was way better with less sugar..... so much more fruity!
      Re the photos..... I use a combination of i-photo and photoshop depending on what I am trying to achieve, although mainly to brighten and sharpen where needed. xx

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    2. I see, well, you use it very skillfully, I really like all your photos:)

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  14. these look absolutely brilliant kate. and that jam! oh yum...i just made cumquat jam and it was delicious and so easy. so satisfying too to make your own. my scone recipe will be up on my blog tomorrow (aussie time). gorgeous photos too you have there.

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    1. Thanks Sherry. Kumquat Jam sounds amazing..... I will be over to check out your scones shortly! x

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  15. One of my favourite things is a cream tea, one of life's simple pleasures I think. Your gluten free scones look simply amazing. Commenting as BritMums Baking Round-up Editor. :)

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    1. Thanks Julie.I have to agree.... Cream Tea is an absolute pleasure. Finding a great gluten free scone though, can be tricky. So many of them are huge, but quite dry. These ones were a definite match for a glutenous one! x

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  16. My mouth is watering!I haven't come across gluten free scones yet. Love the jam on top!

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