2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
1/2 cup (70 grams) crystallized ginger, chopped into small pieces
Zest of 1 large lemon
2/3 cup (160 ml) buttermilk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and place rack in middle of oven. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Stir in the chopped crystallized ginger and lemon zest. Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture and stir just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix the dough.
Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times and then pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches (18 cm) round and about 11/2 inches (3.75 cm) thick. Cut this circle in half, then cut each half into 4 pie-shaped wedges (triangles). Place the scones on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with a little cream.
Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Makes 8 scones.
Lemon Ginger Scones combine the fruity citrus flavor of lemon with the warm, sweet, yet spicy flavor of crystallized ginger. These scones are similar to the Coffeehouse Scone recipe on the site and again, we are using buttermilk, instead of heavy cream to moisten the dough. Buttermilk makes a lighter, more bread-like scone which is the perfect backdrop for the crystallized ginger and lemon zest.
Crystallized ginger is ginger that has been cooked in a sugar syrup and then coated with sugar. You can buy crystallized or candied ginger in small tins at specialty grocery stores or in bulk form from health food stores. It will last indefinitely if stored in a cool dry place. Lemon zest is the yellow outer rind of the lemon that contains the fruit's flavor and perfume. To remove the zest I like to use either a box grater or a Microplane Citrus Grater or Rasp. These tools are relatively new and this stainless steel hand held grater was originally designed as a woodworking tool. The tiny sharp-holed utensil can either be hand held or be a foot long rasp similar to the woodworking tool.
If you are not familiar with buttermilk it has a nice thick creamy texture with a rich tangy buttery taste that makes baked goods tender. Whereas in the past buttermilk was made from the liquid left over after churning butter, it is now commercially made by adding a bacteria to whole, skim, or low fat milk. You can make your own buttermilk though by adding 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar, cider vinegar, or lemon juice to 1 cup (240 ml) of milk. Just stir the vinegar into the milk and then let it stand 5 to 10 minutes before using.