Coconut Scones

I went to our grocery market a couple of days ago searching for some nice berries (everyone seems to be blogging about such wonderful strawberries; I developed a strong craving). But the berries were very much so-so (it’s not the season here yet). To be exact, the only perfectly ripened fruit I found was pineapple, and that’s what I bought.

Makes about a dozen 2 ½ -inch scones

For the pineapple jam (the jam recipe is adapted from Pichet Ong):

  • 1 pineapple, about 2 lbs weight
  • 1/3 cup light muscovado sugar (author suggests crushed palm)
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise in half, seeds scraped out; seeds and pod reserved
  • Zest of 1 lime or ½ lemon

For the coconut scones:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut, lightly toasted, cooled, then finely ground in the food processor
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ heaped tsp kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp (1/2 stick; 57g) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 ¼ cups whipping cream, cold
  • ½ tsp pure coconut extract (optional)
  • ¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • About 2 tbsp whipping cream
  • About 1 tbsp raw coarse sugar (demerara)

Make the jam:

Peel and core the pineapple. Coarsely chop the pineapple flesh and place in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse several times until finely chopped but not pureed. Put the pineapple and its juice into a large skillet. Add the sugar, salt, vanilla seeds and pod. Set over medium-high heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates and pineapple turns light golden brown, about 1 hour total. Remove from the heat and cool. Stir in the zest. The pineapple filling can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Make the scones:

Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat. Place this baking sheet onto another one to protect the bottom of the scones from overbrowning. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, ground coconut, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter pieces into the bowl and, using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the butter into the mixture until it is evenly distributed and no large pieces of butter are visible. Combine the 1 ¼ cups of the whipping cream, coconut extract (if using), and vanilla extract in a glass measuring cup, whisk. Add to the dry ingredient and stir with a fork until the dough comes together.

Coat your hands with some flour and pull the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface. Knead the dough lightly, folding and flattening it several times. Pat (or roll) the dough into a disk, approximately ½ – inch thick. Using a round biscuit cutter, dipped in flour to prevent sticking, cut as many scones as you can. You can gather the scraps (but don’t overwork the dough) and reroll once. Although, the best scones are the ones from the first batch. Transfer the scones onto the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops with the remaining 2 tbsp of the cream, sprinkle the Demerara sugar over the tops.
Bake the scones for about 15-16 minutes, until well risen and golden brown. Cool the scones on the baking sheet on a rack for several minutes, then transfer to the rack to cool until slightly warm. Split the scones in half, fill generously with pineapple jam and serve.