May 26, 2012

Lilac Scones with Rhubarb Curd

These are enchanting days.

Between all the little lambs being born at the farm lately, the lilacs in full voluptuous bloom, and the multitude of rhubarb desserts I've been consuming, things have been good. Very, very good. Actually, it's impossible not to be ridiculously happy when surrounded by little wee ones that look like this:

I recently got to witness some lamb births and I wanted to share one with you on video because it's pretty special stuff. (Did you know they can stand up within an hour of being born! Takes us a whole year!!) Don't worry, I haven't given up on recipe videos and I've got a good one coming your way next week for strawberry-rhubarb sorbet served in ice bowls, which I can't wait to share with you! But today, you get newborn lambs and a recipe for lilac scones and rhubarb curd, below. Enjoy :-)

I wanted to capture the intoxicating perfume of lilacs in a recipe since I found out recently that they are edible.

And I have had scones on the brain, ever since I read Remedial Eating's blogpost about buttermilk scones. I love Remedial Eating for its magical stories and the artful way photos of daily family life and food are paired together. The beauty of Molly's buttermilk scones is that they are, as she puts it, "Plain, simple scones. White flour, white sugar, buttermilk, butter scones. These scones have no whole grains, no ground oats, no spelt. No zaps of candied ginger, no chew of dried cherry…" and as she says, "sometimes, simple is very, very good". I whole-heartedly agree. But I had to cheat. I hope Molly will forgive me for adding lilac blossoms to these already perfect scones. In every other way, I stayed true to her recipe which was everything she said it would be: tender, flaky, buttery. As far as the lilacs go, the flavor is so subtle that I missed it on the first scone. And the second. So of course, I had to have a third! And that's when I caught it, ever so faint and delicate. That's why I've increased the amounts of blossoms to 1 cup in the recipe (I used about 3/4 cup). It seems that either way, the perfume gets somewhat lost in the baking, but it's worth adding the lilacs, even if only for the sheer joy of inhaling and watching the delicate blossoms speckled into the rich batter. 

I decided to make rhubarb curd to go with these scones because I am a die-hard lover of lemon curd and when I first heard about rhubarb curd (in the dead of winter), I carefully filed it away in the must-make-this-when-spring-comes drawer of my brain. And these scones are the perfect vehicle for big gobs of tart and sweet and rhubarby curd. Mmmmm. 


3 cups chopped rhubarb
A handful of strawberries for colour and flavour (otherwise, the curd can be quite yellow from the yolks - I also used a few drops of beet juice to add rosiness)
Juice from one small lemon (around 2 tbsp)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

7 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
Pinch of sea salt

Put the rhubarb, juice of half a lemon, sugar and water in a small pot and simmer gently until rhubarb is soft. Blend into a smooth puree.

Whisk egg yolks, remaining sugar, and salt in a double boiler until warm. Gradually add the rhubarb puree, stirring vigorously between each addition. Do not allow the mixture to boil or the eggs will curdle (yuck! rhubarb omelette!)

Once the consistency is rich and thick, remove from heat and gradually add butter, stirring until melted. Cool the curd and bottle up in jars. Refrigerate.

Adapted from Remedial Eating

3 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling (or use turbinado, on top)
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 Tbs. salted butter, well chilled
1 cup full-fat buttermilk, well shaken

1 cup of lilac blossoms

Preheat oven to 425°.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Over bowl, cut butter into small bits, dropping them into the flour mixture as you go.  Work butter and flour together with fingers, until butter is about pea-sized at its largest. Add your lilac blossoms, removed from the stems (no green part). Give buttermilk a good shake, then pour into the flour-butter mixture, and fold together until you can pull the dough into a rough ball (mix as little as possible).  Dust surface with clean flour and roll out to a half inch of thickness. Cut into triangles and place on greased baking sheet.  Sprinkle generously with coarse sugar (turbinado is best) and a few more blossoms if you wish, and bake until golden at the edges, around 12-16 minutes. Eat when warm out of the oven.

And one last thing... while you're making lilac scones, you should (of course!) be listening to this song, the French ode to lilacs.

Georges Brassens - Les lilas - The Unforgettables by theUnforgettablesTv
Lilac Scones with Rhubarb Curd on Punk  


  1. I didn't know the lilac flower is edible but I will sure try it in recipe. The only flowers I used so far are acacia, rose and lavender.

    1. Thanks Ana-Maria :-) I don't know acacia but would love to try it one day (I don't think it grows here though, so perhaps on my travels one of these days)

  2. What a lovely recipe indeed. I love floral flavours and use them as often as I can. I have rose, orange Blossom, violet, lavender, elder flower, and Magnolia. I will give lilacs a try when in season here. Thanks!

    1. Thank you :-) Wow, I didn't know you could eat magnolia, very cool! Orange blossom is my all-time favourite flower but sadly it doesn't grow in my cold climate. I loved your chocolate fondant recipe, thanks for stopping by.

    2. I had to let you know that yesterday I found crystallized candied Lilac blossoms! Just like the violets you can buy. They area lovely pink and taste so heavenly!

    3. Ooh! Thanks for sharing, this is a great idea, I'm going to try to make some next spring!!

  3. Replies
    1. thanks Pam! hope to see you later this summer xoxo

  4. I must try rhubarb curd! Also obsessing about flower blossom foods at the moment - I'm reading your blog while sterilizing jars for sage blossom simple syrup :-) I wonder if you could can rhubarb curd to eat in the winter? Miya

    1. Hi there :-) As far as I know (although I may be mistaken) curd can't be stored in the long-term because of the eggs... however, you could make the rhubarb compote portion of the recipe ahead of time and preserve that, either by canning or in the freezer, and then make fresh curd with it in the winter. Sage blossom syrup sounds lovely!!

  5. Thank you for the video of the lambs! They are so sweet and you did a great job putting it all together. I've never made scones, but this lilac recipe sounds lovely!

    1. Thank you Janet :-) Scones and fun and easy to make, with or without lilacs, I hope you give them a whirl!

  6. Miya, there are other curd recipes on that are canned (lemon, cranberry), and I have made them and canned them - no problems! Karen

    1. Thanks Karen! Good to know, and glad the goodness can be canned! :-)

    2. This site says that lemon or lime curd is fine but not other fruit curds. Likely the high acidity of lemons and limes keeps them safe.

  7. i loved the lamb birthing video..when i was a midwife i would always cry when a baby was's something so special to witness a birth..

    i've only recently found out that lilac is edible and i plan on planting one so i have access to the blossoms..your scones look heavenly and summery and delicious..jane

    1. hi Jane, i am full of admiration for midwives, the birthing process is quite miraculous. i've never seen a human birth, but i did find this lamb birth very special and i'm glad i decided to share it on the blog. happy lilac planting! :-)

  8. Oh my, the lamb birthing video was adorable! And my mouth is now watering for lilac scones! Yum, yum, yum!