Scones were one of the first things I remember baking fully on my own. If I recall correctly, I made them for a social studies project in 7th grade that required us to make something that had ties to our heritage. To be quite honest, they were terrible. They were dense, had an awful texture and tasted over-leavened. For years, I decided I hated scones. Why choose a scone when you could have a bagel, muffin or doughnut? That was until I had a *good* scone. A good scone slathered with *good* butter; that’s living.
I recently ordered a scone from a fancy-shmancy bakery near my house (that shall remain nameless) that gave me flashbacks to my own middle school scone fiasco. It was dreadfully dry, had zero flavor and made me feel very, very sad. I decided I wanted to revisit the humble scone and make a damn good version. The rhubarb here is fantastic but if it’s not available to you or out of season, you can easily swap it for your favorite berry. A tip I learned years ago from a book I have by America’s Test Kitchen calls for you to pat the dough into an 8-inch cake pan so you can easily make an 8-inch round. What I’ve found to be even better is patting the dough into an 8-inch springform pan; that way you can easily remove the dough to cut it into equal wedges before baking. Another key step is using grated frozen butter. It ensures the butter is evenly distributed and gives the scones a light and fluffy texture.
Rhubarb and Ginger Scones
- 1 cup diced rhubarb (100 grams), about 2 large stalks
- 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 lemon, juice and zest divided
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided (50 grams)
- 2 cups all purpose flour (272 grams)
- 1/4 cup rye flour (25 grams)
- 1 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons frozen butter, grated on the large holes of a cheese grater
- 3/4 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- demerara sugar, for sprinkling
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
Preheat the oven to 400˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add rhubarb, ginger and lemon zest to a medium bowl. Add 1 tablespoons granulated sugar and toss to combine. Let sit for 30 minutes, then strain the mixture, keeping the fruit and liquid separate (you’ll only have about 1 tablespoon of liquid).
Add flour, rye flour, baking powder, salt and remaining 3 tablespoons granulated sugar to a large bowl. Add grated butter and use your finger-tips to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the rhubarb mixture and toss until evenly combined.
In a small bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, egg and vanilla until combined. Form a well in the flour mixture, then add the liquid ingredients. Use a fork to gently incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing just until combined.
Dump the dough onto a lightly floured counter and knead together gently a few times until you can easily handle the dough. Pat the dough into an 8-inch round, then cut the round into 8 equal-sized wedges using a sharp knife or a bench scraper.
Carefully transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet, then brush the tops with heavy cream and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Place in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes, then remove and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. While the scones cool, make the glaze.
Add the reserved juices from the rhubarb to a medium bowl. Add the juice of one lemon and confectioner’s sugar. Whisk until smooth, adding more sugar as needed to thicken the glaze (this is meant to be a fairly runny glaze, just to give the scones a little shine and sweetness).
Once the scones are cool, drizzle with glaze and serve. Scones will keep for up to two days wrapped tightly in an air-tight container.
I’ve had the bourbon shortbread cookies and they taste like a true “Old Fashion”.
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