Food + Wine

Desserted Island and Just Sweet Enough For Me.

Eight and a half years ago my husband and I got married at sunset, barefoot, in the sand of Cinnamon Bay on the island of St. John.  I walked down the aisle to the sound of a steel drummer, with dreadlocks as long as I am, playing The Beatles’ I Will.  We were surrounded by family and friends and had just spent almost a week with all of them on the beach vacation of our lives.  

We ate, drank, swam, ate, drank and drank some more.  My husband began to fall into step with my family, how we do things, our dynamic and our inside jokes.  He became one of us.

I began to fall in love with his Brother, his Aunt, and inherited another amazing Mother along the way.

He became brothers with my brother.  And he got to know the man that had raised me, the father that was handing over his baby girl, the one who would now be the man to stand in as the father in his life.

…whether he liked it or not.

It was the perfect way to begin our lives together.  

While on this trip, I fell in love with the island and its people, the Conch Fritters at Morgan’s Mango, the Tarragon Souffle at Tage, the Stuffed Papayas at the Westin, the Shrimp Salad at Caneel Bay, the Sweet Bread at the Sunshine Market, and most importantly, the Painkillers on the catamaran to Foxy’s in Jost Van Dyke. 

‘Other Brother’, Drew.

The Painkiller, in the Virgin Islands, is a cocktail that differs from place to place and follows you everywhere you go in St. John.  (And thank goodness for that!) When we drank them on the boat, they were these creamy, coconut-mango-rum drinks sprinkled with cinnamon.  When we stopped at the Soggy Dollar Bar, the 60 year old, sandy woman who was tending the bar served them with a rum floater and sprinkled them with nutmeg.  

That’s me.  With two.

I think we all agreed that we liked the cinnamon version better.  We liked them so much that I believe, for an entire day and into the evening, not a single one of us on that boat had any pain what-so-ever.  By the time we arrived at Foxy’s, we were ready to dance.  And we did.  The young, the old, every single one of us, danced like we were teenagers.

‘Other Mother’, Candy and ‘Other Brother’, Drew.

We danced with Grandmothers and Godfathers, Brothers and Mothers and we ate Caribbean barbecue and rice and peas and greens, and fritters until we could dance no more.  Then we rode back to St. John, all spread out, on our backs, on the bow of this giant boat that seemed to slow dance across the water.  We stared up at the stars, talked, laughed and cried, and thought about how this day was the best day of our lives.

Godparents, Mike and Melinda. The ones to thank for the boat.

Every year on our anniversary, my husband and I make something Caribbean for dinner and sip on Painkillers.  One whiff of the cinnamon dust, as the first taste of coconut and mango hit my tongue, and I’m whisked back to the Caribbean seas.  

I will never forget that day, or the day that followed when my husband and I vowed, in front of everyone we love, that we would spend our life together.  One day we will go back and enjoy it again, but for the time being, I will look forward to my annual Painkillers and these unbelievable scones that I created just because I found myself thinking of that special day.  

These scones are wonderful.  They have a delightful, crumbly texture, like a biscuit, and each bite seems to turn to cream when it hits your tongue. They’re just sweet enough, which makes each and every bite better than the first.  They remind me a lot of the bread that I would eat every morning on the island.  I wish I could remember what exactly was in it, but all I know is that it was a fruity bread that was just sweet enough to make me want to walk to that market every morning on my vacation.  I kept the dough in these scones under-sweetened so that when you came across a clump of sweetened coconut, the flavors would balance out and harmonize. The mango, when cooked, becomes slightly caramelized and simply delicious. 

Whether or not you’re in need of an Island fix, something just sweet enough to satisfy a craving, or just looking for a delicious way to start your morning or accompany your tea, I hope you enjoy these scones as much as we have!


*Coconut Mango Scones a.k.a. The Painkiller Scone

Mix the following in your food processor-
3 cups AP flour (or whole wheat pastry flour) 
1/2 cup light brown sugar 
1 TB baking powder 
1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, diced and very cold.
Pulse until you reach a crumbly texture and the butter pieces are no larger than small peas.

With the processor on, slowly pour in-
About 1/3-1/2 cup of coconut milk until you start to see the dough come together. Do this very slowly so you don’t add too much liquid.  If this happens, and your dough becomes one big dough ball in the food processor, you will just need to add more flour later.  It should not look moist, but when you grab some with your hands it should squeeze easily into a ball.

Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and add by hand the following-
The flesh of 1 mango, diced and patted dry
1/2 cup of sweetened coconut flakes

The dough may be very wet and sticky now due to the moisture content of the added fruit. Just add a little bit of flour at a time until it is no longer tacky. Be careful to not overwork the dough.

Shape into a disk,

and cut into 8 ‘pie shapes’ or triangles. Place each triangle onto an un-greased cookie sheet, a couple inches a part from each other.

In a small bowl mix together the following-
A good splash of dark rum
1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
1 rounded tsp of light brown sugar
Using a pastry brush, liberally brush the tops of each scone with your rum mixture.

Bake the scones in a preheated 375 oven, on the top rack, for 20-25 min, or until the edges have reached a golden brown, the bottoms have set and are no longer stuck to the pan, and the scones are firm to the touch.

Cool on the pan for 5 min or so before transferring to a cooling rack. Cool completely. Serve at room temperature.

Store scones in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for up to 3 months, tightly wrapped in plastic and foil.

*Painkiller Cocktail According to Me
In a tall glass or hurricane glass, mix and stir the following ingredients-
-1 shot of dark rum
-shot’s worth of cream of coconut
-shot’s worth of OJ
-half a cup of pineapple juice
-half a cup of mango nectar
Top with enough ice to fill the glass
Drink and Repeat.

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