Buttermilk Ginger Scones

by . on June 30, 2011

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I hate to throw out food. Maybe it’s all those starving kids in Africa or my quickly tightening purse strings, but I try to make use of everything and anything in my fridge. Recently I had more buttermilk then I knew what to do with after using only a small portion in some awesome Rosemary Buttermilk Biscuits.

I figured there was a world of baking to be done with some leftover buttermilk, but where to start? I flipped through my cookbooks and pulled out an old standard: a quilted, flowered handwritten cookbook that my grandmother had taken much time and effort to put together years ago. In it I found her recipe for classic Cream Scones. We grew up eating these and many more examples of her excellent baking. Cookies, breads, pies, and cakes, we baked them all, but I had never given this particular recipe a try.

I substituted my excess buttermilk for the heavy cream the recipe called for, but also wanted a add a little more flavor to the breakfast staple. To do so I added some lemon zest and candied ginger. Wow! Let me just pat myself on the back for a minute. The scones had incredible flavor; spice from the ginger, zest from the lemon, as well as a light, fluffy and just slightly moist consistency thanks to the buttermilk. They weren’t the giant book end sized scones you find at Starbucks, but small, round, biscuit like cakes punched out of the dough with a 3″ biscuit cutter. Perfectly breakfast sized and perfectly delicious.

Buttermilk Ginger Scones (makes 8 scones)

2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tspn baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, cold and cut into squares
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
zest of 1 lemon
2/3 cup candied ginger, diced

Preheat the oven to 425F

In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Cut in the butter with two knives or by using your fingers. The heat of your hands will soften the butter. When you have a mealy consistency add the lemon and ginger. In a large bowl form a well in the middle of the dough and add the egg and buttermilk. With one hand gently fold the ingredients together until they are incorporate. Remove the dough and on a floured surface kneed the dough until smooth and roll it out until it is about 3/4″ thick. Then, with a large biscuit cutter, punch out about 6-10 biscuits. Gather the scraps and roll out more dough, continuing until you have none left. Place each scone on a baking sheet. Brush the tops of each with a little buttermilk and bake for 13-15 minutes or until golden and beginning to crack.

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