Ensconced in Flavour

Posted on: December 7, 2018

Like any good Torontonian I love brunch. But sometimes the hour-long wait at some of the more popular spots can turn me from hungry to hangry and that makes me less the pleasant dining companion and more the beast to be fed.

Sometimes you can coax your friends into hosting brunch so you can enjoy the mimosa’s and just a cursory bit of the clean up. But you never want to be a bad guest so bringing an offering for fellow guests and the host will keep you in their good graces for many brunches to come. My speciality is a batch of homemade scones with a spread or topping to round out usually savoury mains.

Everything I bake or cook, especially for others gets the best treatment which means organic and/or local ingredients find their way into them. If I’m going to splurge on fat and sugar I want those calories to be worth every mouthful. The butter is Organic Meadows cultured butter from Metro and the honey butter I whip up to slather on top of the warmed halves are blended with some Dutchman’s Gold Buckwheat honey from Nature’s Counter for a distinctive deep flavour. Who would turn their nose up at that?

To mix it up for the seasons or different pallets you could go the quick jam route and snag some in-season local peaches for something brighter in flavour and colour or a clove and cinnamon spiked apple butter made in the ever dutiful crock pot which does most of the work for you.

Given a batch of scones and any of these toppings I guarantee happy friends and bellies.

Easy, no-fail scones adapted from The Kitchen Magpie

I don’t use any fancy one-use kitchen gadgets so I use my handy box grater in place of the traditionally favoured pastry cutter. Also keeping everything as cold as possible will help immensely with the end product. Lastly, handle the mixture as little as possible to avoid hard inedible hockey pucks.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Gather your ingredients:

1 cup of sour cream
1 cup cold or frozen butter
1tsp baking soda
1 egg
4 cups of flour
2 tsp baking powder
A scant ¾ cup of sugar
1 tsp salt


  1. Roll up your sleeves and pop on your apron because the flour is about to fly:
  2. Mix the sour cream and baking soda together (I generally put the baking soda in with the sour cream in it’s container so I’m saving on washing up).
  3. In a large chilled bowl  mix the sifted flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. I use the best tools in the biz – my hands. Next settle in for the most strenuous part – grating the frozen butter into the flour mixture. Make sure the butter is thoroughly distributed in the flour.
  4. Pour the poofy sour cream into he flour mixture. Beat the egg into the now empty sour cream container and add that to the flour mixture. Give that all a good quick mix.
  5. Divide dough into three even sized circles. And then cut each circle into four or six pieces depending on your appetite. No judgement here.
  6. Place each scone on two well greased cookie sheets. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until scones are browned on the bottom and slightly on the top.
  7. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely then they are ready for transport to your next brunch where no one will be the wiser if you’ve sampled one for quality assurance of course.