Meera Sodha’s vegan recipe for chocolate scones and fig jam | Vegan food and drink

The scone is a generations-old British institution, and it was only a matter of time before I wrote a vegan recipe for it. Traditionally with vegan baking, I have found a way around butter, but now, in 2021, there are excellent vegan butters on our supermarket shelves that excel on every front. In the main, they’re rich and delicious, readily available and they bake well. My favourite is Naturli, because it is made with organic shea and rapeseed without the use of any palm oil, meaning proper scones can continue to be enjoyed for more generations to come.

Chocolate scones with quick fig jam

There looms a question, in some quarters, as to whether or not figs are vegan. Like most plants, they rely on insects for pollination, but in the case of the fig, the pollinating wasp becomes trapped, and is then absorbed by the plant (meaning there are no dead wasps in the actual fig). According to the Vegan Society, this is a natural process, so it considers figs to be vegan. The jam will keep for five days in a jar in the fridge.

Prep 10 min
Cook 1 hr
Serves 6

225g plain white flour
¼ tsp fine sea salt
50g light brown soft sugar
, plus extra for dusting
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
65g cold vegan butter
, plus 1 tbsp extra for the jam – I like Naturli
100g dark chocolate (suitable for vegans), roughly chopped
125ml oat single cream– I like Oatly Creamy Oat
½ tsp apple cider vinegar

For the fig jam
6 ripe figs (500g), cut into eighths
2 tbsp light brown soft sugar
1 tsp lemon juice

Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4, and line two large baking trays with reusable baking liners.

Put the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and bicarb in a large bowl and whisk to mix well. Cut the butter into small cubes and rub through the mixture using your fingers until it looks like breadcrumbs. Using a spatula, mix in the chocolate pieces. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, pour in the cream and cider vinegar, and mix with one hand until the dough comes together and all the ingredients are well mixed; be careful not to handle it more than necessary.

Using your hand, take a piece of dough roughly between the size of a tennis ball and a golf ball (about 85g) and plop it on to the baking sheet – don’t roll it; it should be rough. Pop another next to it, leaving a gap of about 8cm (the scones will spread), and repeat with the rest of the mixture.

Sprinkle with sugar, bake for 30 minutes, turning once halfway through, then remove.

While the scones are baking, make the jam. Heat the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large frying pan over medium to high heat. When it bubbles, add the figs and stir regularly for about eight minutes, until the liquid from the fruit is released and then evaporates. Stir in the sugar and lemon juice, cook for two minutes more, then take off the heat.

Serve the scones warm or at room temperature and topped with a little (or a lot) of fig jam.

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