Thursday, February 23, 2012

Buttermilk scones with cranberries and ginger

Scones with cranberries and ginger. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books
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 Another variation on scones, this time with the dried cranberries and candied ginger sent by Frieda's Specialty Produce.  The scones are especially nice served for a holiday brunch, so practice the recipe a few times and turn them out for family and friends at Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Buttermilk scones with dried cranberries and candied ginger
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup unsalted butter, frozen
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup candied ginger, diced
Milk or cream for glazing
Turbinado, demerara or sparkle sugar for glazing

. In a batter bowl, mix dry ingredients together. Using a regular grater, shred the chilled butter and with a light hand, gently mix the shavings into the dry ingredients. Using your hands and a gentle, quick touch, make sure the butter is evenly distributed throughout the flour mixture.

2. Pour in the buttermilk and stir gently with either a wooden spoon or my instrument of choice, a silicone spatula. If mixture seems dry, add additional buttermilk until a cohesive dough forms. The dough should be slightly wet and sticky, but not overly so.

3. On a floured countertop, press dough into a rough 12 X 6 inch rectangle (helpful shaping instruction visuals may be found on my basic scone post
here). Spread dried cranberries and candied ginger onto dough, using your hands to press the fruit into the dough. Fold into thirds, letter-style. Press into 12 X 6 rectangle again and fold letter-style again. If any little fruits pop out, just press them back into the dough. Press again into a 12 X 6 rectangle and cut into 16 triangles. Place scones on a lined baking sheet. The scones can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 24 hours.

4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Carefully brush each wedge with buttermilk or cream and sprinkle turbinado sugar over the top. Bake at 400 for at least 15 minutes. They may need a bit more time, depending on your oven, convection, etc. Scones are ready when they are golden brown on top and bounce back when touched lightly in the center.

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