Lemons are like the embodiment of spring to me - clean, bright sunshine and fresh breezes distilled into a nubby-skinned yellow fruit.
Each spring, I instantly start to crave lemon. It's an annual ritual, as predictable as the return of the red-breasted robins, or the transition from heavy winter parka to light spring jacket, or the scattering of bright blue scilla blossoms that oh-so-briefly carpets my front lawn.
Whenever I start to think about my next meal, my thoughts inevitably turn to lemons... lemon pasta, lemon aioli, lemon tarts, lemon curd, lemon cake, and any number of other tart, lemon-scented dishes. I float slices of lemon in my water glass, add squirts of lemon juice to my vegetables, and zest lemon peel into everything from my breakfast pancakes to my dinnertime risotto. It borders on obsessive, the way I go through lemons at this time of year.
I think it's because my brain sees lemon as a wake-up call for my slumbering tastebuds, still lying dormant after months of soothing comfort food - winter food is like a snuggly pair of flannel pyjamas, where lemon's blast of tart freshness is a bugle sounding reveille, a clarion call that rips away the blankets and drags those groggy tastebuds kicking and screaming into a new day.
That's why I made these lemon ginger scones. They're a surefire cure for the winter blahs, what with the generous quantities of fresh lemon and spicy ginger I grated into my standard scone recipe, plus a little buttermilk to make them extra-moist and tangy. I couldn't resist using a blossom-shaped cookie cutter to match my spring-ish mood, but a regular round cutter will do just as well.
These would be perfect for another one of my springtime rituals - an elegant afternoon tea. All they need is a pot of lemon-scented black tea, and bowls of tart Meyer lemon curd and thick Greek yogurt as tangy alternatives to the traditional clotted cream. If that doesn't finally put my lemon craving to rest for another year, I don't know what will.
- 2¾ cups flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 tbsp lemon zest (~2 lemons)
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup cold butter
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup heavy cream (reserve 1 tbsp)
- 3 tbsp turbinado sugar
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, fresh ginger, lemon zest, baking powder, ground ginger and salt. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in the cold butter, working until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add buttermilk and cream, reserving 1 tbsp of cream for later, and stir until just barely combined.
- Turn the dough out onto a clean surface generously dusted with flour, and gently knead 5-6 times. Pat into a rough circle, then use a rolling pin to roll out to around 1" thick. Cut out scones using a 2" round or flower-shaped cutter, gathering up the scraps and re-rolling until you have 8 scones.
- Arrange scones on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them ½" apart. Brush tops with remaining 1 tbsp cream, then sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
- Bake scones in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
I searched and searched for just a ginger scone recipe that didn't have crystallized ginger. This was the closest I came, and it was really good! I omitted the lemon zest because I was short on time, and the person I was making these for emphasized the ginger flavor, so I figured they wouldn't miss the lemon. I also omitted the heavy cream, because based on my baking experience, it didn't seem necessary. I feel like that was the right choice, and everyone said how good these were, and that they were the perfect texture for a scone. I made them in my food processor (dry ingredients first, then butter frozen, chopped into pieces, then buttermilk with the fresh ginger). I served them with peach jam. The dough itself was really wet, but baked up perfectly. Thanks for a stellar recipe I will be making again!
Simply delicious! I'm going to bake them again for my cup of tea tea party, fun for a really good cause!
Simply delicious! They were such a hit, I need to make more next time. The Cup of Tea Campaign you mentioned sounds like a really great cause, i'm definitely going to host a tea party!
The scones looks great.
Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having says
I've been in a lemon mood lately too, it's just so fresh and vibrant. Your scones look amazing, I love the pretty shape! I'd like one with a big spoon of lemon curd please!
Melissa Jones says
YES, lemons! I am lucky enough to have a girlfriend in my building who has a meyer lemon tree in her apartment. (Crazy, right?!) I snatch them whenever I can! And scones...oh, so lovely!
Lavender Blue Wines says
YUM, I love anything lemon-flavored as well. Can't wait to try!
Jean @ Lemons and Anchovies says
How can anyone not love lemons, right? :-) They've just got that sunny quality and add a fresh burst to just about everything. These scones are so beautiful, love the flower shape you used. I bet these were delightful with both lemon and ginger, another current obsession of mine.
Those are simply delightful! Love this recipe.
These scones are so cute :) I bet they are pretty tasty, I love lemon and ginger <3
Looks wonderful! I love the lemon and ginger flavors combination!
Wish I had some now with a cup of tea!
Pretend Chef says
Just recently citrus has been making me giddy. Especially limes. These lemon scones sound amazing and would be perfect with a cup of tea. Yummy!
Don't judge - but until recently, lemon wasn't a flavor I thought I loved. It took a few lemon flavored requests to break that for me and now Im in heaven and keeping a bag in the pantry at all times. These scones sound great and I can't wait to test my lemon loving limits with them. :D
I love the combo of lemon and ginger! I often make lemon-ginger tea... a scone sounds wonderful!
Russell at Chasing Delicious says
These cookies look devine! I share your love to lemon too. It is such a fresh, perfect spring-treat, in whatever form.
Great shots too! I'm going to have to try this recipe.
I love the flower shapes! The recipe sounds like a winner!
I always go nuts for lemons in spring as well. And I'm always up for ginger. These are so pretty - and good luck with your charity efforts!
[email protected] says
I know exactly what you mean about lemon and spring. I think it's the bright yellow and the zing. It instantly cheers up a dish or a room!
Thanks for the nice comments, everyone! Glad to hear I'm not the only lemon addict around. :)
Amanda: Good catch! :) That is indeed lemon curd in the photo. I'm still tweaking my recipe to get the proportions right... the one in the photo was a little too buttery and not as tangy as I'd like. I'll post it as soon as I've worked out the kinks, though!
Lemons are one of my favorites! I always think about them when spring rolls around and this year there are an over abundance of them for me to play with (we have a tree here :D). I'll have to make your scones with them just so I can use 'em up.
The Cilantropist says
I adore the combination of lemon and ginger, and these scones are too adorable cut in the shapes of flowers - definitely a good choice that is perfect for springtime. In the first photo, are you spreading lemon curd on them? Which recipe do you like? I have a favorite, but always looking to try new ones. :)
I couldn't agree more. Lemons scream spring to me! They are so fresh.
These scones are fantastic! Nicely done!
Ummm... YUMM! I was wondering what to do with some leftover buttermilk that I have... now I know!