Monday, Monday. Don’t despair. It means you’re one day closer to the start of the weekend than you were last night.
You know what makes Monday mornings better? Popping some frozen scones you made over the weekend into the oven while you’re in the shower. Scones can hold for two or three days, but they are never as nice as when they are still warm. Luckily, they freeze well, so a big batch made on Sunday can last you the week.
A bit of a quick one this morning. After the scone disappointment at Loisir a couple of weeks back, B asked me to make him scones to atone for the sin of dragging him to afternoon tea. I actually think the scones there just got him thinking about the ones I make. The amazing thing about scones is that once you’ve got them down, you can toss in anything you have in the fridge or pantry and come up with something new every time.
But scones did take me a little time to get down, as did pastry — basically anything that involves cutting in cold butter, which I could never seem to get quite right. My solution may be a bit unorthodox but I will never, ever look back from it: Freeze the butter and take to it with a sturdy cheese grater. It gives you extra time to fumble around with the dough before your butter starts to get too warm and melt. Oh. And when the butter you’re holding in your hands while grating begins to melt around your warm little fingers, drop it in the bowl of flour and give it a toss before continuing.
Following that route, these scones can be cut and ready to go into the oven (or wrapped and placed in the freezer) inside of 15 minutes. Things I have added to this same base recipe include: grated apple, dried cranberries, fresh blueberries, prunes, rolled oats and, as in this case, ginger. I’m thinking of doing some with strawberries this week, as they are in season.
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup muscovado sugar (white can be subbed)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 cup cold (or frozen) butter
- 1/2 tablespoon ginger powder
- 3 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 egg plus 1 tablespoon milk for egg wash
- 2 tablespoons muscovado sugar for topping
- Preheat the oven to 180C (355F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl.
- Cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender or cheese grater (cheese grater!).
- Add the ginger powder, fresh ginger, lemon juice, salt and yogurt. Mix until just combined and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and gently pat into a large rectangle about 2 1/2 inches thick. Cut the rectangle into eight pieces. Wrap those you want to save in plastic wrap and put them in the freezer. Place the rest on the baking sheet. Brush them with the egg wash and sprinkle them with the extra sugar. Bake the scones for about 15 minutes or until they are golden brown on both the top and bottom. Let the scones cool a little before topping them with butter and jam or whipped cream and fresh berries and serving while they are still warm.