Fall Pomegranate Scones (Vegan)


I've had the same craigslist search in the first tab of my internet browser for the past two months. Every day, I press refresh, scroll through images of cargo vans, stare at the prices, and try to do the math in my head. Then, I get up, grab a drink, eat a snack, change my clothes, listen to music, and sit back down. Stare at the grid of Ford Transits, Dodge Sprinters, Chevy Expresses, Ram Promasters --- the list goes on. You know what I need? Wine. I need a glass of wine. So I get up, open a bottle, pour a glass, take a seat, and remember what I was supposed to be doing three hours ago: writing an email response to these ads requesting a time to visit a vehicle, my future home. 



One week ago, I celebrated my 23rd birthday. I woke up early to meet a friend for coffee before a hike, and on my way there, my car decided to gift me a failed transmission. Of all the days in the year, of course, this was the day it chose to break. My car, still in it's first decade of life, was given a diagnosis that sounded to me, like a death sentence. The minute I was advised to consider a trade in, my mind started racing with thoughts of van life. The death of a car could have been the birth of a new life, and I only had hours to decide if that new life starts now. 



Since I haven't spent much time explaining what the heck I'm talking about here on my blog, here's some background:

I have this dream of buying a van, converting it into a home, and traveling the country. For years, I've been developing a savings that will allow me to quit my job and live comfortably as a freelancer while I travel. I will make my van's kitchen functionality a top priority, post frequent recipes and tips about cooking on the road, and gather enough photos, writing, and recipes to create a book to self-publish. 


I know how crazy this sounds. I've been told, more recently than ever -- you're too young, traveling alone isn't safe, you need a stable job to make a living, you can't live out of a car --- once again, the list goes on. 

I'm not afraid of these criticisms, and I understand where they are coming from. After all, I'm looking at a completely alternative way of life here. The kind that allows me to work with what I have, to really see and fall in love with the country I live in, to adopt a four-legged friend to keep me company when I start to feel alone, to challenge and push myself out of my comfort zone, to prevent myself from falling into a routine, and to meet likeminded people who also find freedom in the outdoors. 

I think the biggest obstacle to overcome at the moment, is the purchase of a vehicle. Now, I completely chickened out of letting this into my life right here, right now. Instead, I'm paying a mechanic to fix my current car, a little Ford Focus to get me around LA while I work on building the courage to buy my dream van. It's the smarter, safer option of the two, and I can't really say that I'm proud of the choice I made, but I can take a few deep breaths and remember that this doesn't mean I've given up, but just that I wasn't prepared to take a life changing step on such a whim. 


So here I am, sitting in square one, looking at the tab in my browser. In a moment, I'm going to stand up and walk to the kitchen to get a scone. Then, I will sit back down and scroll, dream, and maybe even email a couple of sellers. 

These are baby steps, and sometimes that's all we need to get us going. 









This recipe is an adaptation of my vegan orange scones from a few years back. Canned coconut milk is the best substitute I have found for traditional heavy cream-based scones. I've always used only coconut milk for vegan scones, but recently found that rubbing coconut oil into the flour, as you would butter, yields to a more crumbly scone texture.

I'm in a new phase of flavor experimentation since obtaining a copy of the vegetarian flavor bible, so I'm just going to come right out and say it:

coconut
molasses
pomegranate
lemon


These are the four flavors I've dared to combine into one scone, and they did not let me down. So please, before you look at this list of crazy ingredients below and say, oh heck no, give em' a chance, I promise they'll make your heart sing.

Fall Pomegranate Scones (Vegan)
makes 8 large scones or 16 miniature scones

Ingredients:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour + extra for dusting
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, solid*
- 1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk, cold
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup 
- 3 tablespoons molasses 
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds

- 1/2 cup powdered sugar 
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 
- zest of 1 lemon 

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Stir. 
  3. Add the solid coconut oil to the flour mixture and cut it into the flour using a fork. 
  4. Set aside 1 tablespoon of coconut milk in a small bowl. Then, add the rest of the coconut milk, maple syrup, molasses, and vanilla extract to the flour mixture. Stir only until combined. Fold in pomegranate seeds. 
  5. Dust a flat surface with flour and put dump the dough on top. Flatten it slightly with your palms and fold in half. Rotate 90 degrees and fold once more. Continue the flattening and folding motion 3 more times or until the dough is no longer sticky, nor dry. 
  6. Shape the dough into a round about 8" in diameter. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into eighths. Slice each of the eighths in half for small scones or leave whole for large scones. 
  7. Place the scones on the prepared baking sheet and brush with the 1 tablespoon of coconut milk set aside earlier and press coconut flakes onto the top of each scone. Pop the scones into the freezer for 10 minutes. 
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the bottoms and sides are golden. 
  9. Let cool on a wire rack. Then, stir the powdered sugar with the lemon juice and zest to create a glaze to drizzle over the top of the cooled scones. 
* If your coconut oil is anything but solid, measure it out and place it in the freezer before using it in this recipe. 
* Keep in a covered container for up to 5 days. 
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© A Little Baker
Maira Gall