When I think of summer, I think of bright, deep berry colors. I think of raspberries, currants, blackberries. I think of vintage enamel dishes with macerated berries and their juices melting in sugar. I think of open windows, blue glass jars, the ocean.
Often times, people ask me what is my inspiration to cook, bake, style and photograph. I look no further than nature. Nature really is the best color wheel when composing a shot. The array of colors in seasonal produce really is what marks an image in my head even before I grab my camera.
My dear friend Erica visited this week. It had been almost a year since I had seen her and it was so fun to let our little girls play together. I asked her what she had been doing since she arrived in town. “Sleep”, she said. Then it reminded me of the lazy summer days before I had children and spending time under a tree with a good book and good music. That rarely ever happens anymore…. But I dream of it.
During my trip to Seattle, my sister in law Lisa and I stopped at Flying Apron Bakery where we both ate the most delicious gluten and dairy free, heart-shaped blueberry oat scone. We sat out side in the quaint downtown Fremont and enjoyed every morsel without saying much.
It had been a while since I had made any scones and after that, I decided I had to make some when I returned home.
This raspberry and oat scone recipe is an adaptation of one of Dorie Greenspan’s recipes. I used a combination of brown rice, sorghum and tapioca flours in lieu of wheat flour and also, gluten-free oats. It worked great. They are hearty, yet soft and chewy from the oats. The raspberries add a touch of sour and freshness that I love, better than the blueberry version in my opinion.
So when I was getting ready to photograph the scones, I really wanted to capture more than the food itself. I wanted to capture the season through color and light. There lies my inspiration.
Gluten-Free Raspberry and Oat Scones
adapted from Dorie Greenspan
150 grams (1 cup) superfine brown rice flour
50 grams (1/3 cup) sorghum flour
40 grams (1/3 cup) tapioca flour
150 grams(1 1/3 cup) gluten-free oats
75 grams (1/3 cup) cane sugar
20 grams (1 Tbs) baking powder
3 grams (1/2 tsp) baking soda
2 grams (1/2 tsp) xanthan gum
5 grams (1/2 tsp) salt
Zest of 1 lemon
140 grams (10 Tbs) cold butter or non-hydrogenated shortening
110 grams (1/2 cup) cold buttermilk (I used coconut milk with 1 tsp lemon juice)
75 grams (3/4 cup) raspberries, fresh or frozen
Put the butter in the freezer for 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the first 9 ingredients. Take the butter out of the freezer and grate it into the dry ingredients using a box grater. If you don’t have a box grater, then just cut it into small pieces (no need to freeze) and work it into the flour. Coat the grated butter with the flour and spread it throughout.
Whisk the egg and buttermilk together and add it to the flour and butter mixture. Fold using a spatula or your hands until flour moist. It will be lumpy and chunky. Just press it together with your hands. Add the raspberries and fold.
Pat to a disk that is about 1/2″ thick and cut using a cookie cutter or knife. Place the scones on a baking sheet and brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle with raw sugar.
Bake at 400F (200C) for about 18 minutes or until golden.