Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Candied Ginger and Lemon Cornmeal Scones

Between the lemon curd and the marmalade, I had visions of a Sunday tea with scones and crustless sandwiches and pinky fingers in the air as we sip from our china tea cups.

Adapted from Joy of Baking and my pantry stock...
1 1/3 cups of all purpose flour
1/3 cups spelt
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
1/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger
1/4 cup (or about one lemon) chopped candied lemon peel or regular lemon peel with as much pith removed as possible
2/3 cup buttermilk (this was exactly the amount of buttermilk that I got from my butter-making escapade! can't get better than that)

Heat oven to 400 F.

Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture. I do a rough chop of the butter right out of the fridge. Then rinse my hands under very cold water, dry them then work the butter in by hand. You want small pieces of butter (about the size of peas or just smaller) to be scattered throughout the dry ingredients. Mix in chopped crystallized ginger and lemon peel.

To this buttered dry mix, add your 2/3 cup of buttermilk. If you don't have buttermilk, you can always substitute cream in its place. Stir until the dough just comes together. Tip this dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead very gently and briefly. 

It seemed like a particularly dry day here, so I gave the mixture an extra splash of coffee cream (one splash for my cup, one splash for my scones) to help everything come together. You want the dough to clump together but don't overwork the dough trying to get every single scrap of flour to incorporate. I'd rather leave a few tablespoons of flour on the counter than risk making a tough brick of a scone. 

Pat the dough into a circle about eight inches in diameter and maybe two inches in height. Cut this circle into wedges, then transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. 

Brush the surfaces of the scones with cream or any leftover buttermilk, then place in the oven for ~20 minutes. 

Let cool for as long as you can tolerate... I am an absolute sucker for warm baking (who isn't?!), so my patience expires quite quickly. 

Serve with butter, lemon curd, jams, or marmalade, as you like. 

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