Strawberry-rhubarb scones with sweet cream

Strawberry rhubarb scones

I woke up earlier this week with every intention of sharing a recipe for one of my favorite chocolate-covered coconut snacks, but seeing as how I haven’t been around these parts much lately, I felt like that would have been pretty lazy of me. So you get scones. Strawberry rhubarb scones with rye flour and sweet cream, to be exact. Scones that have been tested so many fucking times I wanted to pull my hair out because do you know what happens when you run out of strawberries and you don’t have a car and you can’t find your bus pass? You have to walk that ass to the grocery store, just to get a pint of berries. But to make it worth your while you stock up on chocolate and coconut oil and one of those natural body scrubbers that promises it’ll remove all the dry winter sludge from your skin.

Before you leave you stuff your bag with the scones that didn’t quite make it because chances are you’ll pass a couple of homeless people on your way to the store. And just as you get outside you start thinking out loud about how shitty it is that you’re passing out second-rate pastries to people who live on the streets because Surely they deserve better than a batch of scones that could easily be passed off as triangular muffins. Thankfully, that dude who sleeps next to you each night reminded you that it’s better than the alternative; it’s better than tossing them in the pantry or taking them to the lab or putting them in cold storage where you’ll probably forget about them until the freezer renders them inedible.

StrawberriesCuttin'Strawberry rhubarb scones in the makingRhubarb and da doughVanilla sugarStrawberry rhubarb sconesStrawberry rhubarb sconesSweet cream

He was right, but unfortunately we didn’t pass any homeless people on the way to the grocery store. Which was strange because there’s usually someone sitting on the bench outside our building. That someone used to be one of my friends, a middle-aged man who would get all of our leftovers and hand-me-down blankets and reading lights and anything else we (err, I) thought might be useful to someone who lives on the streets. But he’s not there anymore. I should also make it clear that I don’t befriend all homeless people, just the ones I pass on a regular basis because I feel like it’s my duty as a human to extend any act of kindness I can – whether it’s a big ass grin or a cup of coffee or an hour long conversation on aforementioned bench in the dead of winter – to the people who appear in my life more days than not.

On our way back home we decided to take a detour because I’m going to get rid of these scones, so help me Buddha! But then construction had us take an actual detour and, just as we connected with our original path, I passed a guy who looked like he might be in the mood for a couple of scones. How does someone look in the mood for scones? They don’t. I just assume that every person is always in the mood for whatever baked good I’ve got tucked into my bag. I hesitated for a brief moment because this part always gets a little weird. So to combat the self-generated weirdness I turned around, just as he was getting ready to light a cigarette, and said in my most enthusiastic voice, “Hey! You want some scones? I just finished baking them an hour ago.” And of course he said yes because what kind of person passes on homemade baked goods?

I walked home with a happy heart. One that had been reminded of how good it feels to extend even the simplest of gestures to a complete stranger. One that had been inspired, earlier in the week, by a man who had pushed a wheelchair-confined woman four blocks to her connecting bus stop, shook her hand, and then walked away like it was no big deal.

The world needs more people like him.

Strawberry rhubarb scones with sweet creamStrawberry rhubarb scones with sweet creamStrawberry rhubarb scones with sweet creamStrawberry rhubarb scones

Also, I’ve got more than a few delicious recipes over on eHow – from my favorite breakfast smoothie and easiest goji berry cacao nib oat bars to one bowl vanilla cupcakes and peanut butter chocolate chip pretzel cups, surely a couple of those will tide you over until I start posting regularly again. 

Notes: If you don’t have rye flour, you can substitute with whole wheat, spelt, or additional unbleached flour. However, you’ll want to increase the liquid to about 3/4 cup. If you’d prefer these to be gluten free, simply substitute your favorite gluten free flour blend in place of the flours – but you’ll probably have to increase the liquid to a full cup. If you only have frozen berries on hand, those work just as well and add a bit more moisture to the final result.  For the sweet cream, soy creamer works best but I also had success with regular soy milk and almond milk. While we were in Prague, one of the owners of a vegan bakery informed me that they would simply blend oil, non-dairy milk, and agar powder to produce vegan whipped cream. My mind was blown. Sadly mine didn’t get nearly as light as theirs, but it’s still delicious. If you have agar powder on hand, try using that instead. I’d say 1/2-3/4 a teaspoon would suffice.

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB SCONES WITH SWEET CREAM

Scones
1 cup unbleached flour
1 cup whole rye flour
1/3 cup cane sugar
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup coconut oil, liquid
3/4 cup finely diced strawberries
1/4 cup thinly sliced rhubarb, finely chopped
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Topping
2 tsp non-dairy milk
1 tsp vanilla cane sugar

Sweet cream
2/3 cup coconut oil
2/3 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 tsp lemon juice
3 tbsp powdered cane sugar
1/2 tsp xanthan gum

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Line a flat surface with parchment paper and sprinkle with flour. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, salt and baking powder. Pour in the coconut oil (it should be liquid) and use a pastry cutter or two knives to work the oil into the flour. Transfer bowl to the freezer and chill for 15 minutes. Once chilled, add the strawberries and rhubarb and toss to combine. Create a well in the center of the mixture and pour in the milk and vanilla extract. Scoop the dry ingredients from the bottom of the bowl and fold over the wet ingredients. Repeat this just until the mixture is combined. Do not over mix the dough. Firmly pat the crumbly dough into a large circle on the prepared surface, making it about 2″ thick. Brush the dough with milk and sprinkle with vanilla sugar. Cut the dough into eight triangular segments and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 375˚F for 18-20 minutes, or until golden on the edges. Transfer to a wire rack to cool then store in a loosely covered container for up to three days. Cut, unbaked scones can be kept frozen in the freezer for up to six weeks. Simply place the scone segments in a freezer safe container, until ready to use, then bake according to the instructions.

To make the sweet cream, add all of the ingredients to a high powered blender, such as a Vitamix. Blend on high speed for 5-7 minutes, or until the cream has thickened. It will be pretty warm so you’ll want to transfer it to a small bowl and refrigerate until chilled. Will keep in an air tight container for up to one week. Serve over scones and top with fresh strawberries, if desired.

Yield: 8 scones

32 Comments

  • Reply molly yeh 24 April 2014 at 7:58 AM

    The world needs way more people like you

  • Reply Beatriz 24 April 2014 at 8:12 AM

    Ashlae, I usually don’t comment on this or any other blog, but this post compelled me to stop lurkin’ and tell you something that I’m sure you’ve read and heard often, namely, that you are a tremendously talented writer (and baker!) and a kind-hearted person. How you manage to be simultaneously sincere and vulgar I’m not sure, but it’s great. As another unapologetic vegan gal, sending you best vibes from NYC!

  • Reply Rachel 24 April 2014 at 8:41 AM

    I don’t usually comment on blogs either but I had to let you know that this post inspired me to bring a bagfull of sweet treats along on my morning commute. They’re not homemade but I think they’ll be appreciated nonetheless.

    You are fucking awesome.

  • Reply Beth @ Tasty Yummies 24 April 2014 at 8:46 AM

    Oh my, these are just beautiful. Those photos are perfection. Strawberry and rhubarb together are one of my favs!!

  • Reply Laura 24 April 2014 at 8:48 AM

    The world needs waaaay more people offering me scones in the streets. Where were you when I needed a treat while I ran my morning errands?!?! I’m so jazzed by your dedication to recipe refinement–truly inspiring, miss. Loving all those tasties over at eHow too. PB pretzel cuppin’!!! xoxo

  • Reply Nazia @ This Baker Girl Blogs 24 April 2014 at 8:59 AM

    These scones are so beautiful. And so are you.

  • Reply Lindsey 24 April 2014 at 9:21 AM

    I wish we had more homeless people around here who appreciated food offerings, most times (even when I’ve bought for them) they shrug, and ask for money instead. Maybe it’s my delivery…perhaps I need a more enthused voice? In any event, I’m sure you make those people quite happy, as I totally agree with Molly and Laura, the world definitely needs more people like you spreading scones-offerings and sunshine! xo

  • Reply Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health 24 April 2014 at 10:02 AM

    definitely need more people like that guy and you!!

  • Reply Heather 24 April 2014 at 10:39 AM

    When I read your posts, it feels as though we are so similar. I too, often carry around baked good trying to off load them onto strangers. For a while I was carrying around bus tickets, trying to be a good person, but then that got expensive, so I decided on the baked-goods option. I always give away my leftovers, which seems a bit weird, but people really do appreciate it, except that one guy who yelled in my face that their was mayonnaise on the sandwich. You win some you loose some. I appreciate your dedication to perfecting this scone recipe. I know how tedious, and taste fatiguing it can be, to make and eat the same scones for weeks. I am going to give them a go this weekend, although I have a shit ton of rhubarb in the fridge. Wonder how that would work?

  • Reply Ashley-Marie 24 April 2014 at 12:37 PM

    Lovely story, you’re such a generous person. And gorgeous, delicious looking scones! I’ll have to try them. I’ve been on a lemon kick, what do you think of topping it with a lemon sweet cream Ashlae?

    • Reply Ashlae 24 April 2014 at 12:48 PM

      Hi Ashley –

      I think lemon sweet cream would be delicious. I added a bit of lemon juice to give it a kick, but I bet juice from half a lemon + some zest would be delicious. Enjoy!

  • Reply Emma 24 April 2014 at 2:02 PM

    This post brought a smile to my face, and definitely not just the beautiful recipe.
    The recipe does look pretty darn epic though. Strawbs and rhubarb are a classic but in scones is new to me.
    P.S. I would definitely not turn down triangular muffins!

  • Reply Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar 24 April 2014 at 2:34 PM

    Definitely my kind of scones. Yum!

  • Reply Lauren 24 April 2014 at 4:51 PM

    Glad you posted this. I’ll be picking strawbs on the side of Haleakala in about 2 weeks. Rhubarb can be hard to come by in Hawaii, so kiwis might have to suffice. ;)

  • Reply Gabby @ the veggie nook 24 April 2014 at 5:37 PM

    Wow, I’m always wondering what to do with my baked goods- I bake lots for the blog but seeign aas it’s only me in the house, it creates a lot of leftovers. This inspired me to offer them to strangers, I cannot wait now!!!

  • Reply Kathryn 25 April 2014 at 2:33 AM

    So much to love about this post. Scones! Rhubarb! You!

  • Reply Friday Gold Cardigan Posts: April 25 | In My Yellow Cardigan 25 April 2014 at 7:01 AM

    […] and salivating over these strawberry-rhubarb scones with sweet cream from Ashlae over at Oh, […]

  • Reply Brit 25 April 2014 at 8:45 AM

    Would you ever write a book? I would read your book. I would read it over and over and then once more just in case I missed something. Thank you for sharing your words!

  • Reply Sabine 25 April 2014 at 11:07 AM

    love the red strawberry dots in the rough crust – looks wonderful…

  • Reply cynthia | two red bowls 26 April 2014 at 11:52 AM

    I. Love. This. Story. You are an inspiration inside and outside and photo-side and food-side and everything else in between — thank you so much for sharing this, Ashlae. Can’t wait to meet you next month :)

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  • Reply Heidi - Apples Under My Bed 27 April 2014 at 4:51 PM

    I so like reading your words. & thoughts. The world does need more people like that dude. & you. People are so busy & self important. Human interaction & kindness should be bigger priorities. & scones. I mean, that’s all we have (& need), right? Right x

  • Reply MB 29 April 2014 at 8:08 PM

    I love everything about this post – from the recipe itself to the story of trying to give away your baked goods… Oh how I identified with this story in so many ways… Really, it’s very kind of you to share your culinary efforts… as I suspect even your not-quite perfect endeavors are quite yummy!

  • Reply Rhubarb-Cherry Chutney on Parmesan Crisps | Bourbon & Brown Sugar 1 May 2014 at 8:06 AM

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  • Reply Courtney Shields 5 May 2014 at 1:51 PM

    This story is too cute and these look amazing! Alex and I just started doing pale (for two weeks, pre wedding) – have any good paleo recipes I need to try?
    xo
    Courtney
    http://www.byobeauty.com

  • Reply S'mores Cake Balls - Butterlust 7 May 2014 at 7:30 AM

    […] confirmed that they were both as dry and as boring as I had feared. So, inspired by Ashlae’s tale of mis-baked scones, I made Steve help me search for a homeless friend to give them […]

  • Reply Nadine 10 June 2014 at 4:25 AM

    Beautiful blog, beautiful stories. I love your writing. Keep up the amazing work and I really should set a date for finally trying your chocolate mousse pie with with peanut butter whip which sounds absolutely AMAZING.

    Oh an also, I have a question – what camera/lens do you use for your pictures? I’m looking into buying a new lens for my blog, and I love your pictures! Do you edit them?

    Love,
    Nadine

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  • Reply Fabie 6 October 2014 at 3:31 PM

    Oh those look good! I’ve looking for a vegan scone recipe for a while now. I’ll try to make them lemon and poppy seeds.

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