When I was in 5th grade, my family took a trip to France. We spent two weeks traveling through Paris, Loire Valley and Provence.
At all of the French markets, especially those in Provence, vendors sold lavender soap, lavender sachets, lavender lotion, lavender perfume, dried lavender bundles – they sold a lavender scented version of anything you can imagine. We walked through those markets with the fragrant floral smell wafting through the air, the beautiful purple color peeking out of every stall.
Later in our trip we visited Sénanque Abbey, the iconic 12th century French abbey surrounded by a sea of fresh lavender. France was in the midst of a huge heat wave while we were there, and our time at the abbey seemed like the pinnacle of the wave. We look back at the pictures of us in the midst of the lavender fields in front of the abbey and all of the memories of a dry, blazing heat come back to us. I’m pretty sure we all got sunburns in the time we were posing for the pictures. Nevertheless, to this day I love the fresh smell of lavender.
These scones, with the soft fragrance of lavender and the slight sweetness of Earl Grey tea, are perfect for a Mother’s Day brunch or breakfast in bed. Lavender, in my breakfast? Yes, trust me. Lavender is relaxing, sophisticated and just pretty. It lends more of a redolence than a flavor, but just the smallest bit makes this breakfast treat so fresh and even a bit calming. The smell of lavender and tea from the oven provides a relaxing vibe to the whole room.
Growing up, my dad, siblings and I would sneak down to the kitchen early in the morning on Mother’s Day and make breakfast for my mom. It was always someone’s job to pick flowers from the garden to include on the tray we brought up to her as she pretended to sleep. After we “surprised” her with breakfast in bed while she pretended that she was still sleep, she always insisted that we all go eat together downstairs. Sometimes we ate right away, sometimes we waited until after church and had brunch on the screened in porch. It was always lovely and happy, the perfect way to celebrate such a wonderful woman. We always included some form of a breakfast sweet. These might be this year’s addition.
These scones are buttery, tender and flakey. Earl Grey tea infused milk lends a wonderfully sweet, slightly citrusy flavor to the scones and perfectly complements the delicate flavor of the lavender.
They are divine warm out of the oven with a hot mug of tea on the side. Eat them plain, with a pat of butter, a spoonful of jam, a bit of clotted cream, or all of the above!
Make these for your mom served with an “I love you,” and a “thanks for all you do,” and make her morning special and relaxing on the celebratory day that she so much more than deserves.
Lavender Earl Grey Scones
Makes 16 scones
4 ½ cups flour
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ to 1 teaspoon dried lavender*
8 Earl Grey tea bags
3 sticks cold butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces
1 ¼ cup milk
1 egg beaten with
2 tablespoons milk
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Heat the milk in the microwave and steep 4 of the teabags in the warm milk. Once the tea bags have steeped for a few minutes, transfer the milk and teabags to the fridge to chill completely. The teabags will continue to steep while the milk chills.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, dried lavender and the loose tea from 4 of the tea bags. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using 2 knives until the butter is in small pieces and the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Remove the teabags from the cold milk, squeezing out the excess liquid absorbed by the tea. Add the milk to the flour mixture and mix until just combined and the dough begins to stick together. Use your hands to incorporate any flour still on the bottom of the bowl, but be careful not to overwork the dough.
Lightly cover a cutting board with flour and roll or pat the dough into equal two rounds, about 1 ½ inches thick. Cut each round in half, then cut each half into four triangles. Separate the triangles and place them on the prepared baking sheets with enough room to spread a little (I usually fit four rows of three scones on one sheet). Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and serve warm.
If you aren’t planning on eating all of the scones, freeze the dough that you don’t intend to eat right away and pull it out to bake from frozen when you want to serve the rest.
*I found dried lavender at our local Super Target.