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Gig Bakes Recipe - lemon mincemeat scones with that ‘je ne sais quoi’!

By popular request, here is the recipe for one of our audience's gig bake favourites, and it's suitable for vegans

10 freshly baked scones cooling on a wire rack
Lemon mincemeat scones (l) and plain scones (r), ready for our Blowzabella gig

Lemon Mincemeat Scones

These scones are a mash-up of two recipes:

The lemon mincemeat is adapted from Paul Couchman, the Regency Cook’s recipe, with home-made candied orange peel to make them extra special (I never like candied peel. At least not the stuff sold in the supermarket. When Paul Couchman showed us how to make it from scratch at his very enjoyable Hot Cross Buns workshop at The Regency Town House, Brunswick Square, Hove, I was converted!)

The dough for the scones is based on Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course recipe for plain scones, swapping milk and butter for plant-based alternatives. Good ol' Delia!

Lemon Mincemeat (fills about 4 jam jars)

  • 3 lemons (preferably unwaxed)

  • 500 g currants

  • 200 g coconut oil (a white solid at room temperature)

  • 420 g of sugar

  • A few strips of candied orange peel, chopped

  • A few almonds, chopped

Halve the lemons, squeeze out the juice and remove any pips (save juice to make something else, like lemon drizzle cake). Put lemon halves in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Pour away the water, keeping the lemons in the saucepan and cover with fresh water. Bring water to a boil again and simmer the lemon halves until they are soft (about 20 - 30 minutes, test by poking them with a knife). Drain and cool. Chop finely or whizz in a blender.

Put the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan and add the pulped lemon skins. Heat gently, stirring regularly until fat has melted and sugar dissolved.

Mincemeat can be used immediately, or bottled in sterilised jars.

Lemon Mincemeat Scones (makes 18 - 20) 

  • 450 g self-raising flour

  • Quarter teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

  • 80 g vegetable baking block

  • Pinch of salt

  • 2 - 3 tablespoons caster sugar

  • 3 - 4 large spoonfuls of lemon mincemeat

  • 300 ml oat milk (retain a little to mix with maple syrup for brushing tops of scones before baking)

Mix flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cubes of baking block in a food processor and blitz together (or rub the fat into the dry ingredients by hand - rubbing in method).

Add sugar and mix.

Add the mincemeat to the flour mixture, breaking up any lumps so that the mincemeat is well distributed.

Add about two-thirds of oat miik and mix together, continue to add the oat milk little by little until you get a rough dough. Be careful not to get the dough too wet. Bring the dough together with your hand and press together until smooth. A light touch is best if you don't like your scones tough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and pat together into a round shape about 2 cm thick. Cut out rounds with a 6 cm diameter pastry cutter and place on non-stick baking paper.

Mix a little maple syrup or caster sugar with the bit of oat milk that's left and brush it over the tops of the scones.

Bake in middle of Gas Mark 7 oven for 14 - 15 minutes.

To make your own Candied Orange Peel

  • Peel, including the pith (the white part), of 2 - 3 Oranges

  • Sugar

  • Water

Cut the orange peel into thin strips and put in a small saucepan, Cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes and drain. Cover peel with fresh water and boil again for about 20 - 30 minutes.

Using a sieve held over a measuring jug, drain the peel and keep the cooking water in the measuring jug, noting how many millilitres (ml) you have. Pour the cooking water back in the pan and for every 100 ml of water, add 100 g of sugar. Heat together until sugar dissolves, then add the peel.

Bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes. The peel becomes soft and translucent. Leave to cool.

Take the peel out of the sugar syrup with a pair of tongs (or chopsticks) and place onto a wire tray over a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Place in oven on the lowest setting to dry for about 30 minutes. 

Leave the candied peel to cool completely, Some recipes suggest dusting in caster sugar but I don’t bother as I use the peel for bakes. Store in an airtight container. Keeps in the freezer for months.

Our gig bakes sales go to arts charity Creative Response. Why do we support Creative Response? Read 'There's a dinosaur on the chief exec's filing cabinet".

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