I love scones. Since I have been trying to limit my processed sugar intake, I decided to create a savory scone recipe for the holidays. This sweet potato scone is simple and delicious with hints of sage and caramelized onions.
Now the trouble with scones is that they tend to be dense and dry. Add the gluten-free element to it and they usually turn out hard as a rock. Not these. So what's my secret? Well, I think there are two. First is using the sweet potato puree and the second is minimal processing and handling of the dough.
The sweet potato puree that I used is from a can simply because I happen to have it in the cupboard. And it is a can which contains only sweet potatoes—no additives, no sugar, no preservatives—just plain organic sweet potatoes. I have also made these by pureeing my own roasted and peeled sweet potato and found no difference in the flavor or texture. Using sweet potatoes in this recipe adds nice moisture and fluff to the dough, which is important for keeping these light.
Processing these until they are just combined and quickly shaping the disk is also essential to keep these light as well. I use my food processor and keep my butter cubes in the refrigerator until I am ready to add them to the processor. Pulse and then process until the only chunks you see in your dough are bits of the cold butter. And when you shape it into a disk on the floured board, you want to work fast and light with your touch. This isn't bread...don't kneed and work it to death. Work light, quick, and gentle and your scones will be perfect.
So let's get started. Before anything, go ahead and caramelize your onions. Caramelizing onions is simple and adds so much sweetness and flavor to your dishes. You are simply cooking the onion with olive oil, sage, and salt and pepper over very low heat to slowly cook for 20-25 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Flour your counter top or a large cutting board and set extra flour in a pile to the side. Do this ahead of time so you can move quickly once your dough has formed.
Now is the easy part. You simply add everything in your large food processor. However, you have a decision to make—to process the caramelized onion and sage mixture into your dough or leave it intact and gently fold it into your dough on the board. I've made them both ways and although I show it below processed in, I preferred the onions and sage left whole and folded into the dough mixture at the end. Pulse to start and then process until all the ingredients are combined.
Dump the contents onto your floured board. Add your caramelized onion and sage mixture if you set them aside and gently fold them in with your clean hands. If you incorporated them in to the food processor move on to sprinkling the top of the mound of dough with more gluten-free flour and work your dough quickly into about a 10 inch disk. Flatten your disk lightly until it is perhaps 1 to 1 1/2 inches deep. Take a large, sharp knife and cut the disk into quarters and then each quarter in half. This will make 8 scones.
Gently (I use my large knife) transfer your scones onto the parchment paper baking sheet, leaving some space between them. Bake for half an hour. Remove and let sit for 10 minutes before you place them on a cookie rack to cool.
These beauties will be the perfect substitute for boring rolls at your big holiday dinner. They are delicious with a bowl of hearty autumn soup. And they are lovely as a snack with a spicy cup of hot tea and a good book. Enjoy!
Time: 1 hour
1/2 a large sweet onion, sliced thinly
10 sage leaves, rolled and cut into thin ribbons
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. course ground black pepper
1 c. organic sweet potato puree
2 1/2 c. all purpose blend gluten-free flour (I like Cup4Cup Wholesome Blend)
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. course ground black pepper
1/2 c. cold vegan butter, cut into1/2 in. cubes
1/2 c. unsweetened non-dairy milk (I like almond milk)
1/4 c. gluten-free flour for shaping loaf
On very low heat, caramelize the onions, sage leaves, olive oil, salt and pepper for 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large food processor, process the rest of the ingredients (with the exception of the additional flour for shaping). Pulse until it starts to come together and process for 15-20 seconds. You may need to scrape down the sides. Do not process too long, just until it looks like everything is incorporated.
Turn out onto your floured board and add the onion and sage mixture to the dough, mixing a few turns with your clean hands (you can also just process this caramelized mixture with the rest of the ingredients if you don’t want left whole in your scones). Sprinkle a little extra flour on top once you have incorporated the caramelized onions. Gentle form your dough into about a 10 inch round and then flatten to a 1 - 1 1/2 inch thick disk. You will notice your dough is actually nice and airy and easy to work with. Add a little more flour if it is too sticky. Once you have formed your disk, take a large, sharp knife and cut in half, then half again and then each quarter in half to give you 8 scones.
Gently lift each (I used my large knife here) and put on the lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes. Wait 10 minutes, then move to a cookie rake to cool.
Makes 8 scones.