Bakers Cristina Nishioka of Beyond Pastry Studio and Harley Tunac of The Local General store organize a pastry box with 100% of sales donated to groups fighting for Asian American and Pacific Islander rights.
Like a Warm Hug on a Rainy Morning: Trying Ali‘i Kula Lavender’s Ready-to-Bake Scones and Liliko‘i Jelly at Home
Can’t get to Maui? Order culinary goodies (and other swag) made from lavender plants at the almost 20-year-old farm.
I’ve only been to Ali‘i Kula Lavender on Maui once, two years ago, the first stop of an adventure-packed day that also included MauiWine, Surfing Goat Dairy and sunset at Haleakalā. We weren’t there for long, but the moody weather, softly fragrant air and a million photo opportunities made it stand out as one of those places I wish I could visit every month. That’s not feasible for Honolulu-based me. I just follow the farm on Instagram instead—and that’s how they got me.
Mindlessly scrolling one night, I saw a post for lavender scone mix, sold by the pound through AKL’s online store. For $13, you get enough mix for six scones, and all you need to add is water. I ordered a bag, plus a $10 jar of lavender liliko‘i jelly and a $15 lavender lychee sugar body polish that is frankly hard to resist licking. Shipping was a flat $9 to O‘ahu, which is why I added the jelly and sugar scrub to make it worth the price. Plus, when you sign up for the newsletter you get 15% off your first order, bringing my total to $42.82.
My package arrived about a week later. The scones are so easy to pull together quickly that I baked them for breakfast before work one day. The instructions say to mix in 5½ ounces of water (or buttermilk, suggests the AKL website), form a ball, flatten into a 1-inch round and cut into six pieces. That seemed like they’d be too large so I went for eight instead.
The baking scones perfumed the kitchen like a warm, calming hug on a rainy morning—a moment of relaxation before another crazy week. It’s one of my favorite qualities of lavender and the reason I usually apply lavender hand lotion or a lavender face mask before bed. But when it comes to ingesting it, lavender is a tricky ingredient that is often so subtle it’s undetectable or completely overpowering, like you’re sucking on a bar of soap.
I took the scones out of the 425-degree oven after about 12 minutes, slightly underdone because I didn’t want them too dry. They tasted just like they smelled, comforting and light. I slathered one with the lavender liliko‘i jelly and found it to be the perfect accompaniment, enhancing the delicate lavender flavor and adding a bit of sweetness that wasn’t too tart. Even my coffee tasted better after a bite of scone, everything suddenly bright and fruity. I went back for a second one while they were still warm, then regretted eating so much. Six scones that were just a little larger probably would’ve been the perfect size, after all.
The scone mix and jelly are made by Maui Upcountry Jams & Jellies exclusively for the almost 20-year-old farm, which grows thousands of lavender plants year-round. Other products for sale in the online shop include organic Kula Calm tea with spearmint, chamomile, lavender and lemongrass; lavender shortbread cookies; lavender strawberry pepper jam; lavender honey and more. See all the culinary items here. AKL is open for visits from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday, and its online shop is open 24 hours a day.