Scone 4The British have given us wonderful things like Shakespeare, Beatrix Potter, and the belief that the inability to pronounce the letter R makes you sound intelligent. They have also bestowed on us the brilliantness that is the scone. And now, we’re bringing you homemade gluten-free scones!

If you want to make gluten-free scones from scratch, here are some great recipes we found:

  1. Scott Adams at Celiac.com has a recipe for plain gluten-free scones.
  2. Carol Fenster at the Daily Green has a recipe for gluten-free lemon scones.
  3. Maggie at She Let them Eat Cake provides a recipe for sweet gluten-free scones.

I thought it would be fun to try out a recipe for gluten-free scones on my mom’s family, since they are all pretty intense anglophiles. Their obsession with British tea time, television, and princes (no, wait, the last one is just my 19-year-old sister) stems from the fact that they lived overseas for a while. This summer, one of their gluten-eating friends is visiting from England, so I was also able to get her authoritative British opinion (along with some others’ more American opinions) of Simply Organic’s Gluten-Free Chai Spice Scone.

Before you try out a box mix, though, I’d like to share a little insight I had while making Simply Organic’s scones.

3 Tips for Making Gluten-Free Scones:

  1. Go with the lowest baking time first and add five minutes if you think they need it. 25 minutes was almost exactly the right amount of time to cook the scones in our oven – but it was also the lowest time the box directions stated.
  2. If you are looking for a little less crumbly scone, try a LITTLE more of whatever cream or milk you are using. I used 2 tbsp of milk which definitely seemed to be enough, but 3 would make for a moister consistency once baked.
  3. Some cooks swear using your hands is the best way to make a crumbly scone mix. I used the criss-crossing knives method for cutting up the butter, but next time I would try the pastry blender just because it is faster. For scone mixes, though, you do not want a uniform, fine texture.

scone 2Simply Organic’s Chai Spice Scone is made with organic brown rice flour and flavored with organic cane sugar, ginger, cloves, black pepper, and cinnamon. Not only are they gluten-free, they are also Fair Trade Certified and come with a vegan version of the recipe.

Here is the (non-vegan, gluten-free) recipe from the box:

Gluten-Free Scone Recipe

Ingredients:

1 package of Simply Organic Chai Spice Scone mix

4 tbsp butter

2 large eggs

1 to 3 tbsp milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Empty the contents of package into a mixing bowl.
  3. Cut 4 tbsp butter into dry mix using pastry blender or criss-crossing 2 knives until mixture looks like fine crumbs.
  4. Add 2 large eggs, slightly beaten. Stir.
  5. Add 1 tbsp of milk at a time, no more than 3 tbsp total, to moisten mixture to a cookie-dough texture.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until bottoms of scones are lightly browned.

I just decided to go ahead and plop them onto the baking pan and see what happened. Mine ended up looking almost exactly like the ones on the box, but next time, I think I would shape them into circles to make them look more appealing. You might try using the back of a spoon to smooth them out. Appearance aside, they were great. They were moist all the way through but not squishy, and it was easy to cut them open without having crumbs all over.

The instructions suggest adding nuts, dried fruit, or blueberries. Given the spices, I think my first instinct would be to add raisins or currants if I did add anything. The scones really did taste like a cup of chai tea, but it was not such an “out-there” flavor that typical scone ingredients would not work well. What I did mean to do – and forgot to do because they smelled so good already – was sprinkle the still-hot scones with sugar. Brown sugar might go well with the hint of cinnamon already in the scones.

scone 3I tried half of my scone plain first to see how it tasted organically, and it was fabulous. We tried various toppings on our scones: peach butter, lemon curd, regular butter, and ginger pear preserves. The ginger preserves went especially well. (You can check the Grocery Guide to find tons of gluten-free fruit or spice spreads, but many jams are naturally gluten-free.)

My mom noted that the spreads’ tastes were not overpowered by the scones’ chai taste, and you could enjoy both at the same time. And our British friend? She thought the taste was great but the texture was a little grainy, but you might find adding the third tablespoon of milk helps that. As for serving suggestions, I think the scones would complement tea better than coffee, but they would work well for either.

Simply Organic’s other gluten-free mixes can be found in the Grocery Guide along with 23 other brands that sell gluten-free baking mixes. According to the guide, Glutino also makes a gluten-free Muffin & Scone Mix.

Pre-made gluten-free scone mixes can be hard to come by in stores, so if you want to try shopping online, Laurel’s has a Gluten-free Scone Mix.