I got into baking scones last winter as a way to survive the punishing cold and constant snowstorms. I’ve never baked so fricking much before in my life! Since this has been an incredibly mild winter, this is the first batch of scones I’ve made. And this year, they were inspired by love rather than my despair over a seemingly endless winter.
I discovered the recipe for these lovely apricot ginger scones last May when I was searching around for a yummy-sounding baked good that included copious amounts of ginger to make for my husband’s birthday since he’s a bit of a ginger hound. They went over well then so I decided to bake a batch as a little Valentine’s Day offering since I am lucky enough to have the world’s best husband.
I found the recipe on a blog called 6 bittersweets and was drawn to the combination of the soft, sweet, chewy apricots and big chunks of spicy, sugary ginger. Unfortunately, it seems that the really pretty orange apricots are filled with sulfur dioxide so I’ve gone with the ugly-but-better-for-you kind that are kind of a dull brownish orange (but they taste great!)
This recipe is a little more work than my favorite cream scones recipe since it calls for butter and cream (scones that are made with cream only are so amazingly easy that it actually feels like cheating) but the end result is really divine – meltingly soft but also a little bit short (that’s the butter!) with nice bursts of flavor from the fruit and the ginger. The recipe doesn’t call for much sugar but the fruit provides a good amount – it’s all nicely balanced.
I was feeling lazy so I used my Silpat to limit my post-baking clean up. But I’ve also made these on an ungreased cookie sheet with equally good results.
Next: the recipe
Eating one of these with your coffee or tea is a truly sweet way to start your day.
* 2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
* 1 Tbsp baking powder
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1 tsp ground ginger
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
* 3/4 cup moist dried apricots, chopped into about 8 pieces per apricot
* 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, roughly chopped
* 1 cup organic heavy cream
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees F. Place flour, baking powder, sugar, ground ginger, and salt in large bowl or work bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade. Whisk together or pulse six times.
2. If making by hand: use two knives, a pastry blender or your fingertips and quickly cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few slightly larger butter lumps. Stir in apricots and crystallized ginger. If using food processor: remove cover and distribute butter evenly over dry ingredients. Cover and pulse 12 times, each pulse lasting 1 second. Add apricots and crystallized ginger and pulse one more time. Transfer dough to large bowl.
3. Stir in heavy cream with a rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds (if it’s not forming, add more, teaspoon by teaspoon). Transfer the dough and all dry, floury bits to countertop and knead dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds.
4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat or roll it out it an even 3/4-inch thick circle. Using a large, sharp knife cut all the way across and through it in even quarters, then cut each quarter in half again.
5. Place rounds or wedges on an ungreased baking sheet (or Silpat) and bake until the tops begin to brown lightly, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to a week (if they last that long…)
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- Classic Currant Scones
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- Homemade Nutella: Chocolate Hazelnut Spread