Living above a bakery, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t smell the scent of freshly baked baguettes and levain breads and wish that I wasn’t gluten-free. I don’t miss it for their crispy baked skins and crumbly interiors. I don’t miss it for the sanctity of the near-religious experience that is bringing just-out-of-the-oven bread home. I don’t even miss their taste. What I miss the most is the ritual of sitting down in a cute little coffee shop somewhere out of town, ordering a strong coffee and a strawberry scone. So with these paleo strawberry scones, I brought myself a step closer to nirvana.
Living gluten-free, I miss the act of just walking in somewhere and claiming it as your own – through food. I miss the ability to patron different establishments in small towns or different parts of town, and just throw yourself in there. About tasting everything in sight and exploring through your taste buds.
It often feels like there is something inherently ostentatious about dietary restrictions, about walking into a, say, Portuguese bakery and telling them – that food you’ve been eating for hundreds of years? Well, it won’t do for me. I am special. But of course, that’s not how it’s meant.
I miss the camaraderie of a gluten-filled life. The ability to sit down and break bread with someone. To always be able to share a piece of cake. To never decline an invitation to grab a coffee at a new downtown bakery because you’re worried there’s not going to be anything there for you.
But instead of feeling sorry for myself, I decided to remedy the situation. One morning, armed with a spatula and a pale of local, freshly picked strawberries, I felt the strong urge to bake some paleo strawberry scones. I wanted to brew a strong batch of coffee, and whip some butter, and invite people over for afternoon tea. I wanted to decorate my house like a little bakery, full of knick-knacks and shabby chic embroidered pillows and inviting scents. I wanted to recreate that bakery experience that I missed.
I’m happy to say that these paleo strawberry scones by Laura Fuentes were a resounding success. Moist and crumbly, they have a crispy exterior that hides a soft underbelly. They feel wholesome and clean, thanks to maple syrup and almond flour. They are studded with little berry pieces, bright red gems that let their juice when you bite into them. Above all else, they feel just like the scones from your favourite neighbourhood bakery.
Living above a bakery, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss the experience of sharing freshly baked goods with a friend…. Except the days I bake paleo strawberry scones.
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- 1¾ cups blanched almond flour, sifted
- 3 tablespoons coconut flour, sifted
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup almond milk (any milk will work), divided
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (butter will work too)
- zest of half a lemon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup strawberries, quartered
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a large bowl, combine coconut flour and almond flour. Add maple syrup, egg, 3 tablespoons almond milk, coconut butter, lemon zest, baking soda, and salt to the flours. Mix gently until a loose dough forms. Fold in strawberries.
- Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a large cookie cutter, biscuit cutter or a glass as a shaper, cut circles from the dough. A single batch will yield four to six scones, depending on the size. Press them down very lightly with your hands to form scones (it helps the scones keep their shape), and lift cutter as you release. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Brush scones with remaining almond milk.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown.
- Let paleo strawberry scones cool down slightly prior to eating. Serve with whipped butter and fresh jam.