Lemon-Ginger Scones

Scones are my favorite treat to have with my breakfast tea, and I never tire of coming up with new variations. This flavor combo was a favorite at my bakery, as it provided a different take than those featuring fresh or dried fruit or nuts. I like the balance of lemon zest and crystallized ginger as listed, but you can vary these amounts depending on which flavor you would like to highlight. Scones must be eaten as freshly baked as possible. (from Unforgettable Desserts)

Makes 6 scones

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup minced crystallized ginger

1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

Pinch of salt

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream

2 teaspoons coarse sanding sugar (or substitute regular granulated)

Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper; set aside.

Place flour, ginger, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt in a stand mixer’s bowl and combine on low speed using the flat paddle attachment. Add the butter and pulse on and off until it forms a very coarse meal; there might be pockets of butter that are larger, which is fine. Drizzle in 3/4 cup cream with the mixer running on low speed and mix just until combined.

Turn the mixture out onto the prepared pan in one large clump and pat down into a large round about 1 -inch deep thick and about 7 1/2 -inches across. Brush the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon cream and sprinkle with the coarse sugar. Cut into 6 even wedges, and separate the wedges by wiggling your knife back and forth. There should be about a ¼-inch between each scone.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until very light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center just tests clean. Cool on the pan set on a rack for about 5 minutes. These are best served warm from the oven or at least the same day they are baked. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day. Reheat in a toaster oven, if desired.

Tip: These scones, by their very nature, are quite rich given the good amount of butter, and, in this case, heavy cream as well. By baking in a hot oven they become browned top and bottom, developing a slightly crisp exterior texture while the interior and sides remain soft. The sides stay soft because they are baked so close together, so do not separate too much. It is this contrast, and the inherent richness of the dough, that makes these scones so special.

PS: my cousin came over when I was shooting the pictures with a jar of her homemade Damson plum jam. Look at the color! I couldn’t resist.