I have a feeling that many parts of America is huddled under down comforters by the fireside, cursing the winter snow and wishing it were spring time already. Me, on the other hand, is cursing that it’s gotten so warm so quickly here in Okinawa.
What this change in weather means for us is that stifling hot and humid times are right around the corner- approximately 2 weeks away, by my estimate. What that might mean for others here on this tropical island is “paradise,” but for my fair complexion and red hair, it only means sunburns after being outside for 4 minutes despite SPF 100, uncontrollable hair frizz, and the feeling of living in a sauna combined with a steam room for the next 6 months. Lemme tell ya, it’s not a pretty sight.
The upside is that the sunshine now is much more frequent than in December or January, when it rained basically all day every day. Sunshine means fresh fruits and vegetables, locally grown and harvested, which means they simply taste amazing. The strawberries I used for these scones, for example, were insanely expensive… approximately $4.50 for SIX little berries, but man, oh, MAN are they tasty. I figured I would compromise my weather with your weather and incorporate some fresh fruits into a pastry that for whatever reason reminds me of winter, hot cocoa, and chopped firewood. I can't help it, I'm an enigma.
You could use frozen berries or freeze dried if that’s what is available in your area, but I couldn’t resist not taking advantage of the freshness that’s growing here lately. A step further, drizzling melted dark chocolate and then sprinkling flaky sea salt over the tops of these carb-y loves would probably make your taste buds pass out from excitement. If you want a brighter taste, I demand you serve these with lemon curd. You can thank me later.
Strawberry SconesAdapted from Muchkin Munchies
1 2/3 cups of all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour, divided
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chilled butter, cubed (*To make completely dairy free, use 1/2 cup vegetable shortening instead)
1 1/2 cups diced fresh strawberries
1 generous tablespoon lemon zest
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Raw or Sanding sugar, for topping
Heat oven to 375°F. Toss strawberries with 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, set aside. Mix dry ingredients and butter in a food processor, pulse until coarse crumbs form and start to climb the sides of the processor bowl. Transfer mixture to large bowl, add the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
Turn out onto a floured surface, knead with clean hands 8-10 times, adding a few pinches of flour if it gets too sticky. Shape into a 1 inch thick disc, and cut into wedges. Gently transfer the wedges to a cooking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper, keeping a little bit of room between each wedge. Brush lightly with the egg wash, sprinkle with raw or sanding sugar.
Bake 14-16 minutes or until wedges have risen and are golden brown. Serve warm with lemon curd, strawberry compound butter or jam.
Here's the sunset from my porch last week. Living on a tropical island sometimes has its perks!