Brunch is my favorite meal, hands down. Mostly because anything goes. You can have breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert—or a little bit of all of them! It’s late enough in the morning that you can work up an appetite and early enough in the day that you can digest afterwards. We always ate brunch on weekends in college, either after practice on Saturdays or before starting a long day of homework on Sundays. Unfortunately since graduating, it hasn’t been a regular part of my life. That’s why I had been looking forward to this brunch since the moment I got the invitation! A perfect reason to try out one of the many recipes on my Pinterest breakfast board (yeah, I usually go with the breakfast/dessert version of brunch…). My excitement was only increased when everyone emailed the dish they were planning on bringing. Just to make it a little more organized, you know, so we didn’t have too many dishes with the same fall flavor. We needed to make sure we covered apple and pumpkin, eggs and pancakes, sweet and savory. Pumpkin cinnamon rolls, juevos rancheros casserole, frittata, apple crisp, gluten free pumpkin pancakes, Greek yogurt and granola, strawberries and cream biscuits flooded my inbox… I read these emails at work and had a pretty difficult time getting refocused afterwards.
My contribution was a delicious-looking recipe for vanilla bean fig scones that I had found a few weeks ago. The scones are gluten free, with a mixture of flours. I did have to use the Whole Foods special flour section, so it’s not exactly ingredients you would have lying around the house. But the texture created by the almond flour, sweet rice (also called glutinous rice) flour, and oat flour (here you can just grind up oats in the food processor) made the scones dense and tasty. The glaze recommended using powdered coconut sugar and cream, but I just used regular powdered sugar and almond milk and I think it turned out excellently! The scones are sweet, but not too sweet.
I kept trying to pick my favorite dish at brunch, but everytime I ate something, I changed my mind. You can never go wrong with apple crisp:
Pumpkin cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting:
Strawberries and cream biscuits:
A beautiful frittata:
Juevos rancheros casserole:
The only thing brunch could have needed was a bigger plate:
So overall my Sunday consisted of baking, eating, brunch, fall, and the first snow of the year. Can’t really complain about any of that! I also made sure to get in a good workout before brunch to make sure I would be able to fully appreciate and sample all of the dishes.
Below is the recipe for the fig scones. Now that I have all the flours, I’ll probably try experimenting with some different flavors and maybe try using applesauce and coconut oil in place of some of the butter. The recipe also recommends fresh figs, which are unfortunately out of season. I bought dried figs and placed them in some wine (try using a sweeter wine if you can) for a few hours to reconstitute them and make them softer.
Vanilla Bean Fig Scones from http://www.edibleperspective.com/home/2014/9/19/vanilla-bean-fig-scones.html
1 ½ cups oat flour
¾ cup sweet rice flour
½ cup almond meal/flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup pure cane sugar (recipe uses coconut sugar)
½ tsp salt
7 tbs butter, cold and cubed
1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 egg + 2 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp scraped vanilla beans (I used vanilla paste)
¾ cup figs, chopped
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tbs almond milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
- Stir together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Then add butter and mix with pastry cutter or your fingers until well combined. Mixture should be crumbly. Place the bowl in the fridge.
- Whisk together the wet ingredients in a medium bowl, then line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove the dry bowl from the fridge and add the wet ingredients to it. Stir with a spoon until partially mixed, then finish mixing with your hands. Lightly knead until there is no dry flour left at the bottom of the bowl. The mixture should be thick and a little sticky, but you might need to add some extra oat flour if it is too sticky.
- Split the dough in half and shape into a loose ball. Start flattening it out (one on each baking sheet) until it is in a flat circle, about a ½ inch thick. Cut each circle into 8 mini scones. Preheat the oven to 425F and place the sheets in the freezer for 10 minutes while the oven warms up.
- Remove the dough from the freezer and separate the scones so that they are about 1-2 inches apart. Bake the scones for 12-15 minutes until the tops have risen and the bottom edges are golden brown. Let cool for 30 minutes, then move to cooling rack for a few hours.
Make glaze by whisking together sugar, vanilla, and almond milk. Drizzle over the cooled scones and then let them sit for two hours before serving.