An important conference focused on ancient heirloom grains is about to happen this week at University of Arizona. All cerealists are invited!–and that means any of us who love baking and cooking with our local white Sonora wheat, Pima Club wheat, quinoa, kamut, and other heritage grains.
It’s the Heritage Grain Forum — Tuesday and Wednesday, September 3 and 4, 2019. In the words of organizer Dr. Gary Paul Nabhan, it will “celebrate grain-shed advances in the Santa Cruz river valley & the rest of the West.”
Padre Kino’s White Sonora Wheat, grown organically by BKWFarms, Marana. Wheatberries available at NativeSeedsSEARCH store. A new crop will be grown again and viewable at MissionGarden, Tucson, this winter and harvested at their San Isidro Feast in May. (photo MABurgess)
The upcoming conference meets at UA Building ENR2 (1064 E Lowell Street on UA campus just north of 6th Street) in the Haury Auditorium. For anyone interested in hearing some of the mover-shaker-foodies who helped make the UNESCO City of Gastronomy designation happen for Tucson, come meet them:
Tuesday Sept 3, 4:00-5:30 pm for a lecture on their book Grain by Grain by authors Bob Quinn & Liz Carlisle, with bread + cracker tastings.
Then on Wednesday Sept 4: 8:30am-12:00 noon you can participate in talks + roundtables led by Vanessa Bechtol (SCVNHA), Joy Hought (NSS), Don Guerra (BarrioBread),Jeff Zimmerman (HaydenFlourMills), Ramona & Terry Button (Ramona Farms), Gary Nabhan (author, UA SW Center), & others, with commentaries by Quinn & Carlisle + more tastings!
I’m excited to meet these amazing Cerealists!
Muff’s heirloom grain scones made with white Sonora wheat, Ramona Farms roasted O’las Pilkan Chui (Pima Club wheat), and wild blueberries. These are really rich and nutritious, made with eggs and cream in addition to our local heirloom flours and fruits.
Getting in the heirloom grain mood–and fortified with fruits picked up on recent travels–I dived into baking scones using local flours. Here are my recipe variations on scones in honor of the event:
Muff’s Date Scones (or Wild Berry Scones) Recipe:
Preheat oven to 450 degreesF (A solar oven might work on a very clear day at noon hours, but not today).
In large bowl, sift together: 1 1/2 cups fresh-milled white Sonora wheat flour (or kamut flour, or einkorn)
1/4 cup Ramona Farms Pilkan Haak Chu’i (roasted Pima Club O’las Pilkan) flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt
Organic eggs, organic mild, Ramona’s roasted heirloom wheat, and raw organic sugar assembled for scone-making. Cut in cold butter into golden white Sonora Wheat mixture.
Make a well in the dry ingredients then pour in wet ingredient mixture. Stir minimally to make dough with few strokes.
Cut into dry ingredients with 2 knives or pastry cutter: 1/4 Cup cold butter
In a separate bowl, beat, and reserve 2 tablespoons for glaze: 2 eggs
Add to beaten eggs: 1/2 cup cream (or milk)
Chop (optional) fruit– (suggestions: local dry dates, wild hackberries, wild blueberries)
I chose a dry date (Khadrawy, but Medjool is perfect too) because it is easy to chop into discrete pieces which stay visible and taste-able in your scone!
Pat out dough on floured board, then place chopped fruit or berries on the dough layer, ready to be folded over.
Make a dry-ingredient “well” and pour in liquid ingredients. Mix with short, quick strokes. Less handling the better. Place dough on floured board. Pat dough to 3/4 inch thick.
Place optional fruit on 1/2 dough then fold dough over once or more. Lightly roll over each fold with rolling pin. Cut into diamond shapes and fold if desired.
Fold dough over chopped fruit or berries a few times, rolling very lightly over each fold. (A Light touch is key! Don’t overdo.)
Brush with reserved beaten egg. Sprinkle with raw sugar grains.
Onto pressed scone dough brush egg “glaze” and sprinkle with raw sugar (or mesquite meal if you are a desert-purist).
Bake about 15 minutes.
Piping hot with butter–Muff’s date scones made with Ramona Farms roasted O’las Pilkan Chui (Pima Club wheat flour roasted), kamut flour, and chopped Dateland dates. Who needs clotted cream or lemon curd when it tastes so good already?
Most of these heirloom ingredients–grown in Arizona–may be purchased ready to use at the NativeSeedsSEARCH store (3061 N Campbell Ave, Tucson). Small trial size packets of heirloom grain with informative labels are available there provided by Flor de Mayo.
Enjoy the rich flavor and nutrition of our heirloom grains– and their stories! Maybe see you at the conference?…
[Search with keyword “white Sonora” or “wheat” in the search-box at top of this blog page for many other fabulous heirloom grain recipes!]