april in chicago

Tim and I came home yesterday from a quick weekend visit to Chicago. The first time we’ve been back since Christmas, this trip was a whirlwind of loud, excited family conversation, the kind that leaves you out of breath, with everyone talking over everyone else; long, lazy mornings, the ones you almost forgot how much you loved, complete with a certain white, fluffy dog breaking down gates and waiting outside your bedroom door until you let him in; a blog meetup downtown, organized by the just-as-lovely-in-person! Nicole of Eat This Poem, whose months-ago idea for extending her work conference led to a Saturday lunch made up of six people who’d driven, taken trains, walked city blocks and navigated parking garages to come out and share a few hours with some of the Internet voices they find dear.

bloggers in chicago

In the span of these four days, beyond our walking around in Chicago April and taking Instagram photos of our faces in the Bean (officially called Cloud Gate; who knew?), my brother gave us cannoli cupcakes, we watched (and took notes as) my mom blackened fish, and my dad read right through the two children’s books my friend Kathryn had sent when she found out how much he’d loved them as a kid.

Hours before we left, though, before we ate my mom’s cherry pie or laughed as my dad pulled out his wallet and tried to hand me spending money, before we dropped our jaws at the multitasking power of Erin from Naturally Ella (unbelievable!) or got inspired by the gardening know-how of Alex and Sonja, we did this: baked my friend Kendra’s honey oat grapefruit scones.

grapefruit honey scones

Kendra first emailed me about these scones last month, sometime in the middle of March, after she’d baked them and dubbed them “the bomb dot com.” Kendra, beyond being the now-retired food blogger I once shared lunch with in North Carolina and the truly wise voice who read Tamar Adler’s book and then immediately wrote me to say, “get it,” is also one half of the ever hilarious Let’s Be Real podcast I love to listen to. More importantly, she’s always right about food. And she’s as passionate about feeding people as half of America was about the Mad Men premiere Sunday night. When she and I get emailing about making stock or finding farm-fresh eggs, it’s not unusual for me to be talking about it for days afterwards. That’s why, when Kendra emails you with a recipe, you make it (even if it takes you three weeks to do so).

grapefruit honey scones
grapefruit honey scones
grapefruit honey scones

We ate scones while we finished packing for the weekend that’s now over. We ate scones on our short one-hour flight into Chicago’s Midway Airport. We’ll eat scones sometime in the days or weeks ahead, since, per Kendra’s advice, we’ve got the extra scones in the freezer right now, ready to be rewarmed in the oven and sliced with butter all over again.

Kendra’s Honey Oat Grapefruit Scones
Makes eight good-sized scones

One small change we made to these scones was in the total amount of grapefruit juice, which I imagine will vary based on the juiciness of your fruit. So what I did was I went ahead and squeezed the juice of half a grapefruit into a measuring cup but then added it to the mixture a little at a time (make sure to do this at the end, as Kendra instructs!) until it came together well. If you don’t need all the juice, enjoy sipping some fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice for your cooking trouble!

Also, note that since I didn’t have Greek yogurt, I strained the plain organic yogurt I had through a cheesecloth, which ended up giving me about 1/4 cup total, and that worked fine.

1 cup einkorn flour
3/4 cup oat flour (easy to make by blending steel-cut oats until fine)
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
The zest of one lemon
8 ounces (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (or, in a pinch, strained regular yogurt, per above note)
3 tablespoons honey
The juice of half a grapefruit (might not need all of it, per above note)

Preheat your oven to 400°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, oats, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ginger and salt. Toss the lemon zest with the dry ingredients.

Add the cubed butter to the dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, rub or cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles small, coarse peas. Work quickly so the butter doesn’t warm too much. Add yogurt and honey, and toss everything together with a fork or your hands until all of the dry ingredients are moistened.

Add the grapefruit juice last. Use the juice to bring the batter together, adding a little at a time until the mixture forms a nice scone-style dough (i.e., it needs to hold together in a disc shape that you place on the baking sheet; it shouldn’t be wet, but it also shouldn’t be crumbly).

Form batter into a large, flat disc on the parchment paper, pressing with your fingers as needed. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until golden brown on top. Cool for 15 minutes before cutting — we sliced the disc into eight even pieces the way you would a pie.

Best if eaten in a few days, but for storage: Feel free to wrap a few baked scones in plastic and freeze them for later. Kendra says when you pull them out and reheat them, they’re as close to fresh as you can get without having to break out the butter. I haven’t tried this yet, but we have four or so scones in the freezer waiting to be work snacks soon.

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 43 Comments

  1. Ruthy @ omeletta

    Love this :) You’ve got the food-with-friends, and friends-with-food parts of your life covered! Scones sound fantastic- I’ll take grapefruit in just about anything- and happy to hear Chicago was great (though I’m pretty sure it always is, I love that place)

      1. Lindsey @ Pas de Deux

        I made these today with a few adaptations (my modified recipe will be up on my blog tomorrow). I couldn’t find einkorn flour at the store, so I used spelt flour, and I used meyer lemon juice instead of grapefruit, and added blueberries. They were delicious!! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  2. Nicole

    love chicago. last time i went, which was tim’s first time to the city, it was 100 degrees. we’ll have to make that up. thanks for the delicious idea on how to use up my grapefruit. ps: i made that quiche AGAIN. i can’t stop! :)

    1. Shanna Mallon

      ahaha Nicole! Isn’t that the way it goes? I swear, Chicago so rarely sees those temps but, of course, it would pull them out for your visit! The same thing happened to my brother and me when we went to northern California. : ) Yes! Go back! And yes! make these scones (and that quiche) — love that you’re making the quiche many times. Makes me so happy!

  3. Kathryn

    I said to my boyfriend only last week that Chicago is pretty high on my list of cities that I want to visit. It sounds like you guys had a perfect weekend. These scones look pretty special too.

    I hope your dad enjoyed the books! I’m so glad they got to you before your trip home.

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Kathryn! If you two ever come to Chicago, please let us know!

      And, oh my goodness, he loved them. In fact, after he read through BOTH in just three days, he went and pulled out another title he had in his library and started reading it, too. He’s also instructed me to start reading them soon so I can learn from her writing. : ) Thank you again!

  4. erin

    Ha- I’m learning that my multitasking is a thing of mystery :) So glad to have met you both and hopefully we can do it again sometime soon!

    (ps- these scones look like the perfect treat!)

  5. Monika

    Last time (the first time) I went to Chicago I was so thrilled about that bean. I had first seen it as a little girl on a postcard my mom brought me from a business trip. Finally seeing it in person meant I took to calling Chicago BEANtown, which the urban studies/city-planning-friend I was traveling with did NOT like– he kept insisting that only Boston can be referred to with that label.

  6. Bethany

    Oh my word. I’m such a baked goods addict and these look like I could eat a recipe on my own!
    My sister and I have constant conversation about pastured hens and raw milk and we literally rejoice with one another when we find a new ‘supplier’ for our real food needs. I love that about our friendship.

  7. Marie @ Little Kitchie

    I love getting recipes sent from friends because it is always one they are SO passionate about. When I make them, I always feel like I’m sharing a moment with them, even if they live far away. These scones look fantastic – I love grapefruit in baking!

  8. Felicia @ Dish by Dish

    What a lovely post Shanna!

    Don’t know exactly how you do it but your photos always make me feel like getting into the kitchen and rolling dough. Anyway, on another note, its sooo cool that you guys had the blogger meetup! That’s really what blogging brings I’ve come to see – friends who materialize from just blogs to real life people who you can eat at the table with!

    Have a beautiful week!


    1. Shanna Mallon

      The week beforehand, we got to meet Kasey and Matt (Turntable Kitchen) while they were in Nashville, and in the next few weeks our friend Lan (Angry Asian Creations), and all of it makes me think about the wonder of this blog community we’re all a part of.

  9. Nicole | Eat This Poem

    Love seeing these pictures of your trip! I’m still overjoyed at being able to meet you and Tim in person, and am so glad it worked out for everyone. My conference was great, and it was the best bonus to be able to spend my last day in town with fellow food bloggers. I’m always up for a new scone recipe, so I’ll be adding this one to my list!

  10. Stacy

    I do adore scones, particularly those that contain oats. I’ll have to give this version a try! Looks like you had a great trip to Chicago, too. I have a place in my heart for those big, dear Midwestern cities myself…

  11. sarah

    Mmm. Scones are my favorite – these look delicious. And, yeah for food blogger friends! I got to meet Sonja and Alex around Christmas this year – they are lovely. Glad it was such a great time!

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  13. Kim

    Oh how funny…I just read this today, after making scones (via TheHairpin and my friend Katherine). And when I Tweeted them, another friend responded that she’d made scones today as well. It must be scone season or something…

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