Buttermilk, Cornmeal, & Brown Butter Scones with Lavender Peach Curd

Puro Organic, Fair Trade Coffee

Buttermilk, Cornmeal, & Brown Butter Scones with Lavender Peach Curd

Buttermilk, Cornmeal, & Brown Butter Scones with Lavender Peach Curd

This is an ode to good days, good weeks, an homage to honest to God mornings. To coffee and pastries. Sunny breakfast nooks, the works. These are to inspire you to enjoy life one day at a time, and to embrace the pure potential of the early hours, the day yet to unfold. It’s an artfully strung together series of moments, one of the great human achievements, the leisurely morning. So. Let’s talk about mornings. But to talk about morning you must first talk about sleep, that secret act of the mind, that ultra-dimensional coma we slip into every night. We traverse impossible landscapes populated by fear, fantasy, and detritus.

Recipe & more after the jump…

Buttermilk, Cornmeal, & Brown Butter Scones with Lavender Peach Curd

Buttermilk, Cornmeal, & Brown Butter Scones with Lavender Peach Curd

I’m back in the Garden District only it isn’t the Garden District, and you’re there but you don’t look like you with two different colored eyes, and mother is wailing that brother is dead he’s dead he’s dead, and there are vampires at the bottom of an empty swimming pool encased in ice blocks. I turned into a pet bumble bee and was so very proud of my honey. I soared over miniature tropical islands, and majestic, bejeweled elephants frolicked in the hyaline tidal pools. I swam and was warm. 

Sleep is wild. I love to sleep. But a proper nights sleep isn’t just an act of discipline. It’s something in your bones. Something I, riddled by insomnia, sometimes think I’m missing. A good nights sleep begins as soon as you lie down. Your limbs are heavy, mind blank. It’s organic, a thing the body knows. It’s a rocking motion, kinetic potential kinetic potential, asleep at sea. I sleep the best, it’s true, in the hull of a sail boat moored somewhere in the islands scattered around Tortola. And I have the most technicolor dreams there, so full of the most fantastical conspiracies and phantom lovers.

Buttermilk, Cornmeal, & Brown Butter Scones with Lavender Peach Curd

But at home, I can’t sleep. I’m surrounded by self-imposed shoulds, oughts, and musts. As soon as head hits pillow there are harried thoughts about picking up the dry cleaning and Oh! how you need to get some more coconut oil because you’re out and I’ve been meaning to have them over to dinner and God, what if they have to tear out the ceiling to fix the plumbing? And how is it that  I could fall in and out of love seven or so times in my short life? I really ought to update my portfolio soon. I wish I hadn’t sweetened the second fermentation of half my kombucha with honey. Will it diminish it’s effervescence? I have to clean the bathrooms tomorrow. I will, I will. I want to paint the bedroom white, the office white, the stairwell. I should sell my shoes online. I never wear heels anymore. What a shame. I have such excellent heels…. 

So you see. That’s not the making of a good nights sleep. Because I have a hard time sleeping, I have a hard time waking. My mornings are sometimes early afternoons because my evenings were early mornings. And sometimes I don’t sleep at all and the morning bleeds out of the night like an unwelcome stain. I dislike this. It feels unnatural and makes me feel filmy. I want mornings. I desperately want them. I want them after sleep, not because I’ve been up all night and probably won’t sleep for 48 hours. I want the eastern sun. I want normalcy.

For over a decade I was largely nocturnal. Things are different now. I’m slowly, painfully slowly at times, finding my rhythm because I’m slowly finding my peace. I’m finding more and more leisurely mornings tucked into my weeks. Peace of mind is what allows for untroubled sleep and fearless waking. It is to this that I aspire, and it is this that I celebrate by sharing this recipe & a few things that have been sent my way with you: namely a cup of fruity, hazlenut scented coffee, organic & fair trade, naturally (more about the company that makes it, Puro Coffee, below) to go along with these crumbly cornmeal scones flecked with the magic that is beurre noisette. Scones that encompass all that is wonderful about cornbread, cake, and biscuits in one satisfying pastry, the perfect canvas for buttery, tangy peach curd with a hint of lavender.

And of course I christened this beautiful handmade plate by BTW Ceramics c/o ScoutMob Shoppe with them because more than anything else I collect, I like thoughtful, practical objects, be it a lovely breakfast plate, great work boots, or a tea towel. I like objects that do good work. They’re the little touches that make the mundane meat of life feel special. And a note: no one can pay me to say good things about their stuff if I don’t like it. So anything & everything I share with you here I personally like and use. Good, so I’m glad we’re clear on that. So, we can’t deny the impending autumn, but we can bottle up summer in the form of this peach and lavender curd to carry with us as it all gets blustery, and these scones are fantastic any time of year. So, good morning and cheers to the untroubled, fearless mind.

Buttermilk, Cornmeal, & Brown Butter Scones with Lavender Peach Curd

Cornmeal Brown Butter Scones

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 8 scones

These scones are somewhere between cornbread, cake, and buttermilk biscuit. They are all the holy southern baked goods rolled into one, and all with little flecks of brown butter throughout. With a healthy dollop of peach and lavender curd...well no words. It's a whole other world of peaches & cornbread.


  • 190 grams (1.5 cups) all purpose flour, extra for dusting
  • 60 grams (1/2 cup) cornmeal, extra for dusting
  • 96 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • finely grated zest of one lemon
  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), divided
  • 60 grams (1/4 cup) heavy cream
  • 170 grams (scant 3/4 cup) buttermilk


  1. Divide butter into 5 tablespoons and 3 tablespoons. Place the 3 tablespoons in the freezer while you brown the rest over medium heat, swirling occasionally until golden and smells nutty. Immediately pour into a heatproof container that will be easy to pry it out of, like a small tea cup or bowl. Let cool slightly and then place in the freezer until frozen solid.
  2. Heat oven to 450°F.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment and sprinkle liberally with cornmeal.
  4. When butters are frozen, place a mixing bowl on a digital scale. Weigh flour, cornmeal, and sugar into bowl, and then add baking powder, soda, salt, and lemon zest. Stir to combine.
  5. Grate the butters on a box grater and then toss into the flour to combine & coat.
  6. Place a small bowl on the scale, measure the cream & buttermilk into it.
  7. Pour them into the flour butter mixture and stir to combine.
  8. Turn dough out onto a well floured work surface (all purpose flour).
  9. Sprinkle the top with flour and using lightly floured hands pat the dough into a nice ball.
  10. Place ball on prepared baking sheet and press into a circle about 1-1.5" thick.
  11. Using a well floured knife or bench scraper cut into 8 wedges and sprinkle with raw sugar
  12. Bake for 18-23 minutes, until golden brown.
  13. Cool slightly on sheet and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  14. Serve with curd!


The dough can be pretty tacky, just flour as needed to form into ball and get it on that baking sheet!

Buttermilk, Cornmeal, & Brown Butter Scones with Lavender Peach Curd

Lavender Peach Curd

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: about 2 cups of curd

Peach curd alone is a pretty amazing thing but with the addition of lavender it's really special and can turn a simple piece of toast into a romantic breakfast for one. It's having little things like this in my fridge, things that you just can't buy at the store, that remind me why I love making things from scratch. If you were so inclined, you could can this and it would keep for 3-4 months and you'd be able to enjoy it well into the colder months when fruit becomes scarce.


  • 1 scant tablespoon lavender buds, ground into a powder
  • 3 large peaches, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or to taste
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. In a food processor of blender puree peaches. You should have about 12 ounces of puree.
  2. Whisk yolks and sugar in a heat proof bowl until thick and pale yellow.
  3. Stir in peach puree, lemon juice, lavender, salt, and vanilla.
  4. Bring an inch or two of water to a simmer in a sauce pan that the bowl will fit snugly over, and cook the puree over the water, stirring constantly until thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, about ten minutes. It will thicken around 175°F.
  5. Strain curd through a mesh strainer, swirling with the back of a ladle but not pushing, into a clean bowl and whisk in the butter, bit by bit, while the curd is still hot until fully incorporated.
  6. Strain once more if desired (I don't usually but you can if you want a more refined texture).
  7. Store in a jar in the fridge. Slather on everything.


I grind my lavender buds in a mini food processor but a mortar & pestle or a spice grinder would work just as well.

Buttermilk, Cornmeal, & Brown Butter Scones with Lavender Peach Curd

Puro Organic, Fair Trade Coffee

A little about this coffee. Whether my “morning” is at 4am, 8am or 3pm, I have coffee. One cup. Plenty of cream. Plenty. When Puro Coffee offered to send me some of their organic, fair trade beans to try at first I was all “Sorry, I don’t do product reviews”, but when they told me about  their company’s work to preserve rain forests, indiginous peoples, and endangered species as well as their coffee, I said “Um, yes please. But I won’t share it if I don’t like it.” So they sent me a lovely gift box, and I’ve been drinking their coffee every morning since. Which is to say I liked it. Here’s a short video that tells the story of what they do & how they do it because they do it so much better than I could here. It should be noted they are not paying me to say any of this, unless you count two bags of  coffee. Which is, admittedly, kind of as good as money to a coffee devotee like myself. I know scones are a tea thing, and I love a cuppah as much as the next girl, but when it comes to my mornings, coffee is my first love. If you’re with me on this, you should definitely check out what these people are doing.

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50 Responses to Cornmeal Brown Butter Scones & Lavender Peach Curd

  1. I’m so thankful that I don’t have insomnia! Sleep is my favorite thing ever. Love these scones, this curd, and these photos!!

    • beth says:

      I’m thankful you don’t have it too! It’s nasty & I wish it upon no one. But at least I can play act having a real morning with these if need be…though admittedly I usually have them for dessert after dinner…not breakfast!

  2. The combination of lavender and peach sounds heavenly, gorgeous photographs as always:)

  3. Laura says:

    My whole life, I had been an early mornings gal. The giant cup of loose leaf earl grey, watching the steam of it rise in the window’s faint light. This changed forever and completely when I started working in restaurants in a more serious way. Fine dining goes late on a good night and far too late on a bad one. I’ve been missing the grounding aspects of the early hours. The thought of gradually tapering off my sleep to 6 hours in order to reclaim them actually makes sense lately. Also, catching a glimpse of your 1,2 punch/scone + delicious coffee combination is KILLING me on this late Sunday morning, Beth. I’m going to do something about it.

    • beth says:

      Restaurant work is killer…I’m always insanely grateful that there are people who are living it, doing it. Breathing the restaurant kitchen night & day…because it provides such a wonderful experience & I could never do it myself. The pace, the hours, the lifestyle sometimes…I used to dream about having my own restaurant until I finally accepted that I had to find a different path on which to pursue food because that one wasn’t made for me. So cheers…I know how hard it is having worked in the industry for years myself…I’m glad someone is able to do it, and I hope you find a way to reclaim the odd morning, if not every morning! It really is grounding.

  4. I understand this. For the past few years I’ve always had trouble sleeping. I don’t know what it is about being in love but it’s like calmed me down. (I think I feared of dying alone before and would think about it constantly. Embarrassing!) Anewayz, now I sleep grandly. First time ever and I feel free and more productive. Though I do wish I was like one of those psycho morning people that could get up at 6am with no alarm. I’ll never be that.

    Also, this curd sounds incredible. Making peach jam has been on a summer to-do list and now it’s suddenly changed to peach lavender curd.

    • beth says:

      I think part of my problem is that he, while not an insomniac like myself, is a pretty hardcore night owl. Difference is he doesn’t mind living like a vampire…and I do! Not to mention a major portion of my work hinges upon daylight…In the past two years of being some semblance I’ve re-learned how to do everything…socialize, work, love, etc… the one thing in two years I just have not gotten the hang of is sleep! One day. I know it will happen one day. Him laying next to me helps… it’s so, so much worse if he isn’t in bed!

  5. Kathryn says:

    I have to say, the best thing about having an office job with regular hours is the way that it forces me to embrace mornings and have some kind of regular routine. Without out, my days would become shapeless and filled with late nights and waking at midday. And then I’d miss the chance to have a leisurely breakfast of these scones…

    • beth says:

      I often wish for that structure & hope that I can finally, one day, effectively become my own “boss” and impose stricter work hours on myself that don’t involve 4-5am writing fests!

  6. Alexandra says:

    Hi Beth! I just wanted to stop by and tell you what a gorgeous blog you have! Not sure if you remember me from the show but we spoke a few times and I wish we would have chatted blog more! Come say hello to me at lollipopsicle.net! Cheers!

    • beth says:

      Of course I remember you! I didn’t do a lot of chatting with people in those early weeks due to my deathly illness, but you I do remember! Thanks so much for stopping by & I hope you come back… and I did check out your blog…those banana brulee pancakes look mighty fine!

  7. Beth says:

    Beyond the fact I love your photography, writing and the glorious food, you just helped me explain to my husband how the female mind is wired. The moment my head hits the pillow the to-do lists start scrolling, in his case about ninety seconds after head meets pillow he is asleep. One of these days I am going to find some courage, and the necessary ingredients, to attempt some of the creative brilliance that is localmilk.

  8. Tamara says:

    Boats! I sleep best on them also :). Makes my morning breakfast and coffee with my fellow boaties so peaceful and happy. Thanks for sharing your story and love the knowledge sharing with the short video clip. Thanks for this Beth.

  9. laurasmess says:

    I find it hard to believe that you can write so beautifully, so eloquently, without sleep. I become a shadow of myself when I have less than six hours, mumbling undecipherably in the corner of a room somewhere! This post is both light and dark; encouraging and sad. You somehow manage to insert the essence of being human into everything you write. Truly beautiful, in both a prosaic and emotional sense. This recipe… now, it needs a little vote sheet all of its own. It’s beautiful as a combination of flavours, colours, fragrances and associations. Eating scones always brings me back to the sticky-fingered, five year old version of myself, eating fluffy rounds spread with strawberry jam on a stool in my grandparent’s kitchen. Thanks so much for everything you write. You are a rare and honest soul. I do hope you get some proper rest soon xx

  10. Marla says:

    This is beautifully written. Really, really stunning. Thank you.

  11. Sofia says:

    Beautiful pictures and words, as always, Beth. I don’t do a lot of baking anymore, but these will scones will be an exception.

  12. ariyele says:

    you inner monologue at night is a lot like mine.

    i’d usually send the below contribution in a type written form through snail mail.
    it’s a blessing in the words of john o’donohue from a book called, “to bless the space between us.” i have it memorized. from mine to yours…i know i’ve said it before. maybe now i’ll ask. can we be friends?

    A Morning Offering

    I bless the night that nourished my heart
    To set the ghosts of longing free
    Into the flow and figure of dream
    That went to harvest from the dark
    Bread for the hunger no one sees.

    All that is eternal in me
    Welcomes the wonder of this day,
    The field of brightness it creates
    Offering time for each thing
    To arise and illuminate.

    I place on the altar of dawn:
    The quiet loyalty of breath,
    The tent of thought where I shelter,
    Waves of desire I am shore to
    And all beauty drawn to the eye.

    May my mind come alive today
    To the invisible geography
    That invites me to new frontiers,
    To break the dead shell of yesterdays,
    To risk being disturbed and changed.

    May I have the courage today
    To live the life that I would love,
    To postpone my dream no longer
    But do at least what I can here for
    And waste my heart on fear no more.

    • beth says:

      Aren’t we already friends? : )

      Thank you for the lovely blessing. & I hope this finds you happy & well! To sleep, to sleep…alas.

  13. monika says:

    Hi!I’m love for Your photos and tasty recipes:)


  14. Teresa says:

    can i please just go through my computer screen and taste these?? they look absolutely amazing! also your photography is out of this world!! have you taken classes or is this a natural gift?

  15. Sini says:

    Beautiful picture, inspiring recipe and amazing writing. Girl, you’re amazing. I would really love to can this curd.

  16. I’m slowly becoming more of a morning person as well, and I sort of love it (as long as I get enough sleep). Something about being awake when everyone else is asleep is so peaceful–its like you’re experiencing the world at a stand still.

    These scones look wonderful! Definitely meant to be enjoy in a sunny breakfast nook (nothing makes me happier).

  17. Anni says:

    I’ve always had the hardest time sleeping. The strange thing is, sometimes I love that quiet time alone with my thoughts now. Other times, it’s like a curse (hello, early wake up call.)

  18. marianna says:

    The photographs are just.. wow. But the recipe itself got me, too, especially the curd – I wonder if there’s a way to can that thing! I have insane amounts of peaches in my yard now and I’m starting to worry about getting tired too soon of all the jams and chutneys I’m making. And I literally see myslef craving a curd like this in the winter… what do you think? Is there a way?
    Lots of love,

  19. Just came across your blog and absolutely love your photos! Thank you for sharing the recipe. Will definitely have to try it out.

  20. Christina says:

    These scones really do combine three of my favorite things….scones, buttermilk biscuits and cornbread! Oh how I can’t wait to make these!

  21. Kathryne says:

    Leisurely mornings are hard to beat. I’m blessed with the ability to sleep well, but getting out of bed is still difficult. I’d definitely roll out for one of these lovely scones, though. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet, but I love the new look of your site! It’s perfect.

    • beth says:

      Thank you… I couldn’t be happier with the job Melissa & Erin did on the site… & Katt Frank’s logo design…I’m still giddy about it! And I definitely have an easier time waking when there’s pastries involved. I need a carrot, or in this case a scone, on a stick.

  22. kelsey says:

    Your aspirations, for peace of mind, untroubled sleep, and fearless waking — woman, these are mine too. I’ve somersaulted into a stretch of ceiling and shadow gazing lately… from the hours of midnight to 2:30, my brain runs on and on and ON, then starts eating itself with thoughts, shoulds, oughts, what ifs. OY. Mornings have lost their sparkle for me, too. Here’s to taking them back, with scones lovely as these.

  23. […] Cornmeal Brown Butter Scones & Lavender Peach Curd […]

  24. Liz M-B. says:

    These are out-of-control amazing. I can’t wait to try them out. Cornmeal is way underutilized!

    I also made something with cornmeal recently! I’m a new food blogger based in Ann Arbor, MI…http://adventurefaceliz.wordpress.com/2013/09/04/roasted-potato-with-creole-mustardgreek-yogurt-sauce-served-with-cornmeal-encrusted-heirloom-tomato-steaks/

  25. I can’t imagine writing without must sleep. But you made it sound so doable. Love socnes and when paired with luscious lavender peach curd — it’s just mind-blowing :D

  26. Holy goodness. Your photography is amazing. Found your blog through bleubird vintage. So gorgeous. I aspire to photograph like that.

  27. Cintia says:

    I found your blog today and I’m in love with your photography, very happy to find you. Here is another big fan of your work.

  28. This is just amazing food and it’s even more amazing the way you look at things. We love your blog, have a great day.
    Livio & Elizabeth

  29. […] Local Milk (Cornmeal Brown Butter Scones and Lavender Peach Curd).  I actually first found Beth’s blog because her Pinterest board was so beautifully […]

  30. […] I first came across in Good to the Grain and I was reminded by the technique by Beth’s cornmeal brown butter scones which I’m still dreaming about. The clever technique of roasting the pears before baking […]

  31. […] Local Milk (Cornmeal Brown Butter Scones and Lavender Peach Curd). I actually first found Beth’s blog because her Pinterest board was so beautifully curated. […]

  32. […] more inspiration? Find some other fantastic scones recipes I’d like to try soon here (I have dried lavender from summer to use up) and here (so in season with pumpkin purée and frozen […]

  33. […] new to it, well what are you waiting for?  her photos are dreamy.  go check out this recipe for cornmeal brown butter scones and lavender peach curd.  yum!  and if a pot of creme of earl grey tea were to accompany me with these scones, well, even […]

  34. […] / dresses – glam + girly 2 / coffee – vintage, artisan, natural 3 / restaurant bar – industrial with a touch of modern, a nod to […]

  35. Sophie says:

    These scones were delicious! Unfortunately I didn’t have cream or buttermilk so I used a substitutes (butter/milk for the cream and lemon juice/milk for the buttermilk). I also used orange zest instead of lemon zest and gluten free Cup-4-Cup flour. But, the browned butter/cornmeal combination makes these scones really tasty. Would definitely recommend this recipe — I can’t wait to try it again with all of the right ingredients.

  36. Sara says:

    Oh, but Beth! Now I won’t be able to sleep until I track down those beautiful capuccino cups! Please help! x

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