Tea buns were very traditional when I was growing up in Newfoundland. In fact, you can go to just about any grocery store – or maybe any house – and find fluffy raisin-studded tea buns.
While they were very traditional, I never loved them. I guess it was that they didn’t have a lot of flavor other than the raisins and the fatty butter. But, I love the notion of a tea bun. Even if you don’t have it with tea, it just sounds lovely, doesn’t it? I created this new recipe that in my mind is where a tea bun meets a scone meets a muffin. They have the name of the tea bun, the texture closer to a scone, and the ease of preparation of a muffin!
Orange Apricot Tea Buns
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These buns are like a cross between a biscuit and a muffin. They are scented with fresh orange juice and a hint of almond extract, and they are made without any refined sugars, and also no oil. The orange juice really lifts the flavors of these buns and if you don’t have dried apricots on hand, try substituting chopped dates – they are scrumptious!
1 1/2 cups oat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp sea salt (touch scant)
1 1/2 tsp orange zest (see note)
1/4 cup dried unsulphured apricots, chopped (or chopped pitted dates)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 tbsp plain non-dairy milk
1 tbsp ground white chia seed
1/2 tsp pure vanilla or orange extract
Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine oat flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda (sift in powder/soda), nutmeg, salt. Stir through until well combined, and then stir in zest and apricots. In a smaller bowl, combine orange juice, maple syrup, milk, chia, and extract. Stir through until combined. Add wet mixture to the dry and stir through until just combined. Using a large cookie scoop (or a spoon), scoop out mixture and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (I typically yield 6 to 7). Bake for 14 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool for a minute on baking sheet, and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Makes 6 to 7 buns.
Orange Zest Note: My favorite way to zest citrus is with a kitchen rasp (also called a microplane grater). These are very handy, inexpensive, efficient tools that can be used for zesting, grating garlic, chocolate, and more!
Enjoy the recipe, kids!