I have a treat for you today.
These scones are probably one of the best things to come out of my kitchen in a while. Or, at least, they are the thing I am most excited about as of late.
Before these, I was not big on scones. They often come out so dry and hockey-puck like. I also find that they generally aren’t sweet enough for me. I don’t have a HUGE sweet tooth, but I like my baked goods to have a sugary bite to them. Otherwise, I don’t think they are worth the calories. Basically, a scone has to be pretty great for me to be on board.
A few weeks ago, I mentioned that my husband and I went to Washington DC for a weekend. While we were there, we brunched at Art Smith’s place (one of the best meals we had while there, by the way). Shortly after you sit down, they bring over a plate of warm apricot scones and soft whipped butter. I debated whether they were worth the caloric load given my general scone hesitancy, but my husband dove right in. His reaction to the scones pulled me in. They were soft, flaky, and sweet with a hint (I’m pretty sure) of ginger. The apricots were sweet and plump. The best part: there was a thick crust of sugar crystals on top of each scone. TEXTURE! They were phenomenal. We finished off the plate of four (FOUR!) scones in minutes. We then moved onto two incredible eggs benedict dishes complete with bacon and sweet tomato jam (OMG)…but that’s a story for another time….
Back to the scones…
The wheels in my head were already turning. I knew I had to try recreating them at home. So, I came up with the version below. Much to my delight (and shock), they came out even better than the restaurant version (sorry, Art). It must be that whole homemade thang. They were soft, flaky, and MOIST (no hockey pucks!) with the perfect hint of sweet, spicy ginger. I ate one hot out of the oven (ouch) and another later on smeared with softened butter. Both were delightful (and worth the tongue burn). My husband agreed. He ranked them as a “9.5 out of 10,” and he doesn’t give such accolades lightly! I took the leftovers into work (in an effort to cut myself off from them) on Monday, and people raved. Some even said it was the best scone they’d ever had!
*Pats self on back.*
I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, but the reaction I received from others confirmed my belief that these were spectacular scones.
So, do yourself a favor and make these soon. They are incredibly yummy and very “un-scone-y,” if you’re like me and afraid they won’t be your thing.
Apricot-Ginger Scones (makes 8 large scones)
2 cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
8 tablespoons very cold butter, cut into small cubes
½ cup chopped dried apricots
2 tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger
½ cup sour cream
Turbinado (raw) sugar, for sprinkling on top
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Whisk together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter and cut into the dough using a pastry cutter or a fork (the dough should be very crumbly). Add the chopped apricots and candied ginger.
3. Whisk the egg and sour cream together in a small bowl and then fold into the dry mixture. Mix until just incorporated.
4. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and then gently form a rectangle or circle about 1-inch thick. Slice into desired shape (squares, triangles, etc) and place on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
6. Brush each scone lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Bake until puffed and golden, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly and then serve with whipped butter or jam.