Vegan scones straight from my childhood
I somehow managed to get two posts confused for today - I think I mixed up 'first vegan meal' and 'favourite vegan memory' to get 'veganise your first food memory', so that's what I've done, and that's what I'm going to be writing about today.
My first food memories were probably around cooking with my mum when I was a kid.
Hopefully my mum's not going to read this, because I feel obliged to confess that despite being the main cook in our house when we were growing up - whisper it so she doesn't hear! - she wasn't a great cook. Meals were normally some form of minced meat, abused and accompanied by equally cruelly treated vegetables - think boiled, fart-smelling white cabbage and undressed, hard-jacketed kidney beans. It all came without sauce or other means of cheering up such forlorn hangovers from post-war English cooking. I have never been able to look spaghetti bolognese in the eye as an adult, and I'm attributing that purely to having weeping red mince shoved in front of me far too often as a child.
So, mum was no Raymond Blanc. But, as befits her Cockney cooking heritage, she could always make a cracking dessert. Anything that included flour, fat, and sugar, she was all over it. She could crack out sponge puddings, apple pies, and all that good stuff, even if she couldn't knock out a savoury meal that didn't strike fear into the heart of me and my sibling.
One of the first things I remember cooking with her was scones - that most simple, English of baked goods. I even remember the cookbook we used to make them - it was published by some milk marketing board back in the 70s, and was so well used that often the pages were stuck together by the splatters of bakes past.
I asked mum for the recipe for this year's MoFo and she sent it over. Given it's a recipe that was originally created to popularise milk, I took great delight in veganising it, though mostly it was straight milk-for-plant swap.
As technically the book is still in copyright, I've adapted the recipe a bit to make it my own. See if you can see the joins!
Makes 12 scones
How you do it
Put the self-raising flour into bowl. Remember the original recipe said to sift the flour, then remember what Mary Berry said in the Great British Bake Off about the importance of sifting flour. Pour the flour into a different bowl, then sift it back into the original bowl.
Rub vegan spread into butter until you have something with the texture of breadcrumbs. Spend several minutes picking scone crumbs out of the ring you should have taken off your finger before you started cooking.
Add sugar, and mix. Add sultanas and mix again. Remember that time you saw an Anna Olsen baking program when she said about making scones with "that classic English triangular shape". Ponder that despite being English and having lived in England for almost all your adult life, you've never seen a triangular scone. Wonder if Anna Olsen knows something you don't.
Add the non-dairy milk, mix thoroughly until you have a coherent dough. Turn out onto a floured board, and knead briefly til it all comes together. Or rather, turn out onto a floured board and wonder why the whole thing is so wet and sticky, add some flour. Add some more flour. Knead. Add some more flour. Knead. Add some more flour until you have the dough you thought you should have originally. Wonder if your mum has punked you with the ingredient quantities.
Roll out the dough to around 1cm/1.5cm thick. Ponder why you've managed to get this far in your life without acquiring a rolling pin. Flour a wine bottle and use that to roll out your dough instead.
Cut out scone round with a 5cm fluted cookie cutter. Ponder how you've managed to get this far in your life without having any cookie cutters. Use a wine glass to cut out your scones instead.
Put scones onto a greased baking sheet. Brush the tops with non-dairy milk. Congratulate yourself for having a pastry brush.
Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the scones are risen and brown on top.
Leave to cool a little, then spread with coconut cream and jam, or just with a bit of vegan butter. Or, if you're feeling super traditional, vegan cream with either golden syrup or black treacle.