Is there anyone out there who loves the unexpected?
I found the inspiration for them on a trip to San Francisco where I also encountered this last spring. I spent months perusing the Asian grocery stores for just the right spice blends and ingredients (shortcuts, in hindsight) to make the flavors deep enough. In the end, the best way for me to get the spicy, savory, sweet, unexpected + exotic punch came from a fresh herb + spice paste – literally, all of the flavors in their purest and freshest state – and was powerful enough to transport me back to markets in Thailand. I hope they take you there too.
The fresh herb + spice paste is the most time-consuming part of the recipe here, but it’s absolutely worth it. It is getting a little late in the season but you won’t have a hard time finding the herbs here all season. You’ll likely need to hunt down some of the herbs at an Asian grocer (lemongrass) but the coconut flakes will be available in the bulk section of your favorite well-stocked grocery store. The recipe makes enough of the stuff to make two full batches of scones (about 24 little scones. If you store the paste in an airtight container you could use it the following week instead of all in one swoop.) And, the technique is inspiring enough that I hope it will drive the most ambitious of you to try other herb mixes and make more savory scones!
Enjoy this one, and don’t forget to f*ck up a little bit and give the good stuff time. : ) xo -L
- makes about 24 little scones
- for the Green Curry Paste
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1 cup cilantro leaves
- 1 piece lemongrass, diced
- ¾ cup coconut butter
- 3 inches ginger root , sliced
- 2 kaffir lime leaves
- ¼ cup coconut flakes
- for the Mango-Coconut-Ginger Scones
- 1⅔ cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1¾ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4½ tablespoons butter cold and diced
- ½ cup cream
- ¾ cup dried mango
- ½ cup crystalized ginger
- 1¾ cup coconut flakes
- egg wash
- coconut flakes
- Prepare an ice bath. Then, bring a small pot of water to a rolling boil. Blanch the basil and cilantro by immersing them in the boiling water for 1 quick minute, then transfer them to the ice bath and chill fully. Once chilled, remove from ice bath.
- Next, in a blender or food processor, combine the lemon grass and ¼ cup coconut butter and blend till smooth. Add ginger, kaffir lime leaves, coconut flakes, and another ¼ cup coconut butter and blend until smooth. Squeeze the excess water out of the blanched herbs and add them to blender along with the remaining ¼ cup coconut butter, and blend until the mixture turns light, vibrant green. If at any point the curry paste feels warm, transfer to freezer to chill (to prevent herbs from turning brown!)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Combine cream and ½ cup Green Curry Paste in a small bowl and whisk to integrate - make sure there aren't any large chunks of paste as these will end up being whole bites of herbs! Then, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the sifted dry ingredients with the cold butter on medium-low speed until the butter breaks down into pea-sized pieces. Add dried mango, crystallized ginger, and coconut flakes and mix to incorporate. Next, mixing on low speed, add the herb paste + cream mixture in ¼ cup increments until just incorporated, taking care not to over mix the dough (overmixing makes for tough scones!)
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1¼ inches thick. Cut into 3½-inch squares, then cut each square on the diagonal, creating two triangles. Transfer scones to a parchment-lined baking tray, brush tops with egg wash, and garnish with a sprinkling of coconut flakes. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes; the scones are done when they're firm to the touch. Enjoy!