Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lemon Ginger Scones

Lemon Ginger SconesOne of the first recipes I learned to bake as an adult — after the chocolate chip cookies and Duncan Hines brownies of my youth — was Orange-Cranberry Scones. Scones came on strong in the early nineties — probably with the rise of the coffeehouse. I caught on quickly and was eating one too many scones in my frantic New York City way. I would escape the city on the weekend and head to my parents who were living in a quiet somewhat rural area — without any cafes to serve me my fix of butter. My weekend scone-jonesing was so severe that eventually I made my own. It was pure love — and a heck of a lot of butter.

Lemon Ginger SconesLemon Ginger Scones
This Lemon Ginger variation was inspired by the ones they serve here in Ann Arbor at Comet Coffee in Nickels Arcade. If you haven't been there, I can't say enough about it. Their coffee — they're part of the new wave of pour-over coffee spreading throughout town — is my favorite in town and the emo, tattooed-covered staff is always shockingly happy-go-lucky and friendly. And, of course, their lemon-ginger scones are addictive. So here's my take:

Lemon Ginger Scones
Adapted from Joy of Baking

Makes 6 - 8 scones.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and kept chilled
1/2 cup crystallized ginger, chopped into small to medium pieces
Zest of 1 large lemon (about 1 TB)
2/3 cup buttermilk

1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 TB milk

Raw sugar for sprinkling, optional

Lemon Ginger Scones

Preheat oven to 400º F and place rack in middle of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the chilled butter 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 to bring it together and then pat into a circle that is about 7 inches round and about 1 1/2 inches thick. Cut this circle in half, then cut each half into 3 or 4 pie-shaped wedges (triangles). Place the scones on the baking sheet. Beat the egg well and combine with with 1 TB milk. Brush the tops of the scones with this mixture. Sprinkle with raw sugar if using.

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.

Lemon Ginger Scones

Some crystallized ginger is more sweet than others — or perhaps I should say less sweet. The batch I used today was extra gingery, so I kicked up the sugar just a tad. Take a nibble of yours and adjust accordingly.


  1. Mmm this recipe sounds delicious. My grandmother adores ginger so perhaps I'll try to make these for her for Easter.... I found your blog via Bloesem - your banner design was my fav :)

  2. This recipe looks so delicious. My mom loves ginger. I think I am going to have to make her a batch of these for Mothers day! :)

  3. I found your post because I was looking for a recipe for lemon ginger scones like the ones they serve at Sweetwater's in Ann Arbor - small world! I wonder if they come from the same bakery? Can't wait to make these!

  4. That is a small world, Lisa! I'll have to try the ones at Sweetwaters!