Dried fruits are a fabulous addition to any baked goods, giving an intense flavour hit, with none of risk of excess moisture that fresh fruit can produce. However, dried fruits can be tricky to find if you have concerns over nut traces. They always seem to process fruits and nuts in the same facilities, meaning we usually give them a wide berth. Which is a shame really as they’re such wonderful little flavour bombs, and can even appeal to those who don’t like the sogginess of fresh fruit (like my children).
I don’t have the luxury of a dehydrator but if your oven goes low enough and you have the time and patience, home dried fruits that are totally safe are at your disposal. These berries were literally placed on a lined baking sheet and put into a low oven (100 degrees Centigrade) for 3-4 hours until they were wrinkled and shrivelled but not dried up.
The berries work wonderfully in these elegant little canapé sized scones; think a similar effect to sultanas but with bags more flavour. I couldn’t stop eating these light, crumbly and tasty little morsels – pity I made quite so many!
Mini Blueberry Scones (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)
- 450g plain flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 75g dairy-free spread
- 75g caster sugar
- 300 ml dairy-free milk, I used Oatly
- 1 tsp berry essence, if you have it
- 1/2 cup dried blueberries, roughly chopped
- To top: 2 tbsp oat milk 2 tbsp granulated sugar (I used blue sugar crystals)
– Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade/gas mark 6
– Grease and flour 2 baking sheets
– Rub the spread into the flour, sugar and baking powder until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the dried fruit.
– Pour in the essence and dairy-free milk and very gently bring together to a soft dough. It’s very important not to work scone dough.
– Gently pat out the dough until its about 1 inch thick. Using a 1inch cookie cutter, cut out rounds and place on the baking sheets Continue, gently bringing the dough back into a ball and cutting out, until all the dough has been used up.
– Brush the top of each with dairy-free milk and sprinkle with sugar Bake for about 20 minutes until starting to turn golden. Cool on a wire rack.