CANDIED GINGER SCONES
Art and Soul of Baking
by Sur La Table and Cindy Mushet
These scones are light in texture with a crunchy brown sugar topping and an invigorating burst of ginger. The method for making them is unusual because there is no butter required-instead, cream is whipped to soft peaks and folded into the flour mixture, resulting in a fluffy, rather than flaky, interior. Great for breakfast or tea, they also make superb shortcakes (think plum, apricot, peach ...).
Makes 8 Scones
Baking Sheet, Parchment Paper or a Thin Silicone Mat, Food Processor Fitted with a Metal Blade, Large Bowl, Whisk, Stand Mixer Fitted with a Whisk Attachment or a Hand Mixer and a Medium Bowl, Silicone or Rubber Spatula, Chef's Knife, Pastry Brush, Cooling Rack
• 2 ounces crystallized ginger
• 1/4 cup (1¾ ounces) granulated sugar
• 2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1¼ cups (10 ounces) chilled heavy whipping cream
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 1/4 cup (1¾ ounces) turbinado or raw sugar (light brown sugar may be substituted—it will be very tasty, but not quite as crunchy)
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and position an oven rack in the center. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper or a thin silicone mat. Place the crystallized ginger and granulated sugar in the bowl of the food processor and process until very finely chopped— the mixture should resemble damp sand. Transfer to the large bowl and add the flour, baking powder, ground ginger, and salt. Whisk to blend well.
2. In the bowl of the stand mixer, or with a hand mixer and a medium bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks, with tips that fold over and barely hold their shape. Use a silicone or rubber spatula to scrape half of the whipped cream into the flour mixture and gently fold in with the spatula. Add the remaining whipped cream and continue to fold until there are no longer any obvious streaks of cream or patches of flour. The dough may seem a little dry at this point—don't worry.
3. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead gently a few times to finish bringing the dough together. If the dough seems very wet and sticky, sprinkle it with a little flour to keep it from sticking to your hands and the work surface. Pat the dough into a 7-inch circle. Use a chef's knife to cut the dough into 8 equal wedges. Place the scones on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
4. Brush the tops with a thin layer of the beaten egg. Top each scone with a generous layer of turbinado sugar. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until firm and golden brown. Transfer to a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Storing: Once baked, serve the scones within 12 hours, when they are at their freshest and most appealing. Store uncovered at room temperature until serving time.
Getting Ahead: Once the dough is prepared and cut (through Step 2), the wedges can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.
The scone dough can also be cut and frozen for up to 1 month. Place the wedges on the baking sheet and freeze until hard, about 1 hour. Transfer to a resealable plastic freezer bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking. Or, thaw at room temperature on the prepared baking sheet for about 20 minutes before baking.