November 13, 2010

Spiced Autumn Berry Jam and Vegan Lemon Yogurt Scones

The wild autumn berries on our land have been ripe for a few weeks now.  Autumn berry is a more attractive common name I found for autumn olive berries, scientifically known as Elaeagnus umbellata.  We have a ton of these invasive shrubs on our property and while they make for tasty snacking on hikes they shine the most in jam and fruit leather.

My son Alex and I picked a big load and I decided to spice up, literally, one batch of this year's jam.  Since I find the berry's flavor similar to cranberries, I chose to flavor them like my favorite cranberry relish.  This relish, which I typically make for Thanksgiving, includes oranges, cinnamon and ginger.  I also was craving fruit and black pepper together so I gave the jam a little extra heat with freshly ground black pepper.  To try out some of the jam I made lemon scones with coconut milk yogurt.  The scones were a special request from Alex and a great match for the jam.

For pictures of autumn berry bushes and more information see my first post on autumnberries, Autumn Olive Jam and Fruit Leather or read more about autumn berries and their controversal status.  Don't have access to autumn berries?  Buy some Michigan made jam from Food for Thought.

Spiced Autumn Berry Jam
Makes ~9 cups

5 cups seedless autumn berry pulp*
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
7 cups sugar
1 box SURE.JELL Fruit Pectin

*To make the berry pulp:  Pull the berries from their stems, wash and drain them.  Add them to a pan with 1/2 cup of water for every 4 cups of berries and cook over medium high heat until the seeds are separating from the fruit flesh.  Use a food mill to remove the seeds.  Cool and store the prepared pulp in the fridge until needed.  Note that the pulp will separate into a milky liquid with red particles when cooled in the fridge. You will probably need at least 8 cups of berries to get the required 5 cups of pulp.

-Follow the standard SURE.JELL Directions for Berry Jam but add the ginger, zest, cinnamon and pepper along with the pectin at the start of the recipe.

Lemon Coconut Milk Yogurt Scones
Based on this Orange Yogurt Scone recipe from Taste of Home 
Makes 8-10 mini scones

1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons coconut oil, solid
6 tablespoons plain So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt
1-2 tablespoons pearl or coarse sugar, optional

-Preheat your oven to 400 degress F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
-Sift or whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Then after that is whisked or sifted well add in the zest and stir or whisk to evenly distribute.
-Cut in the solid coconut oil with a fork or pastry cutter until there are no pieces of solid oil larger than a pea.
-Add the yogurt and stir in just until the dough comes together.
-Scoop with a medium disher (mini ice cream scoop) onto the lined baking sheet and press down the mounds slightly.  Or you can gather the dough into a flattened circle and cut into wedges.
-Sprinkle over the pearl or coarse sugar.
-Bake for ~12 minutes until light golden brown.

Penny came along for the berry picking.
Later that evening I found a bunch of berries that had fallen in her hood and gotten smashed, eww!
She and Fritz love to look out the doors and windows together.
P.S. Thanks to all those who are rooting for me in the Iron Foodie challenge. I got in! The box of mystery ingredients should be arriving early next week. Alex and I can't wait to see what's inside!