Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dreamy Apricot Ginger Scones

2009.11.30 Apricot Ginger Scones

Were it not for Smitten Kitchen, I might be before you today recounting the epic journey it took to find the perfect recipe for light, tender scones. Luckily for us all, Deb already completed this "scone quest" and returned with a jewel of a recipe, generously shared on her blog. So let me simply tell you how I switched up the add-ins to suit my fancy and (hopefully) send you off to do the same.

This soon after Thanksgiving, I was predictably cranberried out (fruits are verbs too, didn't ya know?). What I was in the mood for was ginger. But this spicy sister wanted some company for these long cold nights... The sunny hues of dried apricots caught my eye at the store not long after. It had to be a sign...

2009.11.30 Apricot Ginger Scones

And what a lovely pair these two made. Each bite of these scones contained wonderful little bursts of flavor, from the modest sweetness of the apricots to the bolder heat of the crystallized ginger. I actually craved even more fruit, so I've upped the amount in the recipe below. Despite using a little less butter than the original recipe, the texture remained so tender (must be all that cream...). These scones aren't very sweet, so they'd be lovely with a dollop of your favorite jam. Now I'd really love for you to share your favorite scone flavors with me. Won't you please?

2009.11.30 Apricot Ginger Scones

Apricot Ginger Scones [Printable Recipe]
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook via Smitten Kitchen
Makes about 8 to 12 scones

2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, preferably a low-protein brand such as Gold Medal or Pillsbury and not King Arthur
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2/3 cup moist dried apricots, chopped into about 8 pieces per apricot
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, roughly chopped
1 cup heavy cream

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place flour, baking powder, sugar, ground ginger, and salt in large bowl or work bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade. Whisk together or pulse six times.

If making by hand: use two knives, a pastry blender or your fingertips and quickly cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few slightly larger butter lumps. Stir in apricots and crystallized ginger.

If using food processor: remove cover and distribute butter evenly over dry ingredients. Cover and pulse 12 times, each pulse lasting 1 second. Add apricots and crystallized ginger and pulse one more time. Transfer dough to large bowl.

I used a cake ring to get the dough into a circle.
2009.11.30 Apricot Ginger Scones [Collage]

Stir in heavy cream with a rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds. Transfer dough and all dry, floury bits to countertop and knead dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds. Form scones by either a) pressing the dough into an 8-inch cake pan, then turning the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, cutting the dough into 8 wedges with either a knife or bench scraper (the book’s suggestion) or b) patting the dough onto a lightly floured work surface into a 3/4-inch thick circle, cutting pieces with a biscuit cutter, and pressing remaining scraps back into another piece (what Deb did) and cutting until dough has been used up. (Be warned if you use this latter method, the scones that are made from the remaining scraps will be much lumpier and less pretty, but taste fine.)

Place rounds or wedges on ungreased baking sheet. This step is optional, but freeze the cut-out scone dough in their baking pan for 8 to 12 minutes to help them hold their shape better AND to help them rise higher. Now bake until scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

29 comments:

  1. orange cranberry is my favorite! they have them at starbucks... simply divine!

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  2. J'adore scones!!! Maple and chocolate scones being my favorite! I have always wanted to try ginger scones.

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  3. Lovely! I have to say, I usually like my scones plain, so that I can let the jam do the talking :) But apricot and ginger in a scone sounds fantastic too.

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  4. Thank god for Deb! Where would we be without her? She does all of the dirty work for us.

    These look like excellent scones! Crystallized ginger and dried apricots are two of my favorite snacks to munch on. So much so that I can't keep them around otherwise I will eat the whole bag within hours. Maybe if I plan to bake with them, though, I will muster up some self control.

    One of my favorite scone flavors is maple. Also chocolate chip. gotta love the chocolate chip.

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  5. These look great! I love ginger so I will have to try them. My favorite scone is a tangerine cranberry scone made with creme fraiche. Delicious.

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  6. Judy and Shoshana - I love citrus and cranberries in muffins, so that combo sounds great. Shoshana, I bet the tang from the creme fraiche takes it to another level.

    Danielle and Joanne - Maple and chocolate, eh? I'll have to try that next time.

    Y - I'm a big lover of jam, too. I used blueberry on these.

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  7. Oh they are very dreamy - I am a HUGE fan of dried apricots

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  8. They look wonderful - you know what I have never baked scones!

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  9. I grew up eating my Southern grandma's buttermilk bisquits with homemade apricot jam. I think the flavor of these scones will take me back...Crystallized ginger YUM!

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  10. This recipe is similar but not exactly the same as the one I use. I love using organic raisins or dried cranberries in my scones. When baking for kids, I lean towards chocolate chips!

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  11. I love this fruity scone. YUM!

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  12. The scones look delightful.I have to make them. Never tried..

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  13. I love the combination of apricots and ginger!

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  14. Dreamy is just the perfect work for these photos! They're so lovely, they seem unreal- A testament to both the delicious scones and talented photographer! ;)

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  15. Ginger apricot, very nice combo. Hmm, my fav scones are the cranberry cornmeal scones at Our Daily Bread.

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  16. I make apricot scones often and have never added ginger. What was I thinking??? I must do that next time.

    Your top shot there is awesome by the way. I love LOVE the textures and brillant brightness.

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  17. I guess it's because I've never had a good one, but I'm not a big fan of scones. Although hearing that Starbucks makes a good cranberry orange one definitely makes me re-think my stance!

    Also...I named you for the "Kreativ Blogger" award! Here's the link if you want to grab the badge for your page:

    http://fuzzykoalacakecompany.blogspot.com/2009/12/thats-creative-way-to-spell-it.html

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  18. Gorgeous pics - isnt it great when you've got the perfect recipe in your hands and someone has done all the hard research perfecting it? I love it. My favourite scone would probably be savoury - herb and cheese!

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  19. These look great. Apricot and Ginger would have been an excellent combination. What a great holiday treat.

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  20. Lovely flavours! Love mine with just raisins and eat with lots of cream and jam!

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  21. Alicia and Anshika - These are so easy, I really hope you try making them for the first time!

    Kelsey - Aw I bet nothing will ever beat her scones but these are pretty tasty. In fact I'd love to swap buttermilk for some if not most of the cream next time.

    Mrs Ergül - I looked at your recipe and it is very similar, just a little less liquid and plus egg.

    Hannah, Laura, Trissa - Your sweet words about my photography mean so much to me, especially since I love and am constantly inspired by your photos. Thanks!

    Jessica - Cranberry cornmeal sounds like a killer combo. I have both on hand...yay!

    Dorothy - THANK YOU, me dear. I'm honored but may not get around to passing it on for a while. Please be patient with me as I need to survive trial for a month...

    Thanks to everyone else for your comments. I treasure each and every word!

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  22. Apricot and white chocolate are one of my favourite combinations. Nice!

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  23. apricot and ginger! What a fantastic combination. I love scones that look thick and chunky like yours! make me just want to just gobble it up...:)))

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  24. This combination sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing this one! Oh, and thanks to Smitten Kitchen, too. ;)

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  25. I love ginger, and with the addition of apricots....sounds amazing!!

    One of my favourite scones is a whole wheat cheddar and chive scone...perhaps I'll post it one of these days- you've inspired me!

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  26. Creampuff - White chocolate! What a great idea. Maybe I'll switch out the cream for buttermilk and add white chocolate: fat out, fat back in teehee 8).

    Koko - I used to make a semi-homemade (I know, I'm ashamed 8p) cheddar and scallion flaky biscuit that was yummy, so please post your scone cause I bet I'd go crazy for it.

    Zurin & Julia - Thanks!

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  27. Brilliant idea to use a cake ring! Why have I never thought of that. Now I have an excuse to go get one. ;) Your scones are beautiful! I've made apricot scones before and the apricots that were sticking got burned. I wonder why mine did and yours didn't. As for my favourite scone flavour, it's too hard to pick!

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  28. I love, love crystallized ginger!

    Your scones look delicious :)

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  29. The scones look amazing! I tweaked a recipe and ended up with scones using only heavy cream and no butter a little while ago--they were incredible.

    - Lucie from Bilingual Butter

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