Summer, Sweet, Snacks

Lemon & Poppy Seed Scones with Blackberry Compote

Scones and the British summer go hand in hand, and strawberry jam is the classic companion to a buttery scone. Having always found strawberry a bit too sweet, I've usually opted for raspberry jam in the past – but with wild blackberries filling our hedgerows, I couldn't resist making something with them that would go beautifully with scones.

This compote is free of refined sugars, as I use maple syrup to sweeten it, and it will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for a good week. Once you've enjoyed it in this recipe, leftovers can be used to top pancakes, porridge or a granola bowl, or stirred through yogurt and overnight oats. It can also be served with plant-based vanilla ice cream, or to top pavlovas – it really is so versatile.

Of course, scones need to be served with a little something creamy, too – in this instance, thick, whipped coconut yogurt, sweetened with a little maple syrup and vanilla-bean paste.

As for the scones themselves, these are a twist on my classic ‘Buttermilk' Spelt Scones – I've simply added lemon zest and poppy seeds for a tasty change. They're light and tender, take no time to knock up, and are best eaten fresh from the oven – or at least the same day. If you have some left over, I recommend popping them in a warm oven for a few minutes before serving.

6-8 scones


For the compote

600g wild blackberries (or regular, if you can't find wild), rinsed well

¾ cup maple syrup

Juice of 1 lemon

For the scones

120ml plant-based milk, such as almond or oat

1 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

250g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting

1 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

2 tbsp caster sugar

Zest of 1-1½ lemons, depending on size

1 tbsp poppy seeds

50g plant-based butter

To serve (optional)

Whipped coconut yogurt sweeted with maple syrup and vanilla bean paste

Dairy-free whipped cream

Dairy-free crème fraîche


  1. Heat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/Gas 6.
  2. Add the blackberries to a saucepan, along with the maple syrup and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, and allow to simmer gently until thickened slightly, and reduced by about a third – this should take about 5-10 mins. Remove from the heat, and set aside to cool and thicken further.
  3. Combine the milk and apple cider vinegar or lemon juice in a small bowl, and set aside.
  4. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, lemon zest and poppy seeds together in a large bowl. Add the butter in dollops or chunks, and rub it into the flour. With your palms facing upwards, rub the mixture across from your little finger to your thumb, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  5. Pour the milk and vinegar mixture into the bowl in stages, using a knife to mix it in until the dough just comes together. You might not need to use all the liquid.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a floured worktop, and gently roll into a disc shape at least 3cm thick. If you roll the dough any thinner, your scones won't rise properly.
  7. Cut the dough into four rounds, then combine the remaining dough and cut it again until you've used it all up. Try not to overwork the dough, otherwise your scones will come out tough.
  8. Arrange the scones on a baking tray and lightly dust them with flour. Bake for 10-15 mins, until risen and very lightly golden around the edges.
  9. Serve with your blackberry compote, and your choice of dairy-free whipped yogurt, crème fraîche or whipped cream.

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