A couple of weeks ago, we invited one of our favourite married couples, the Wiltoteks, over for afternoon tea (no, that's not really their name... but it would be awesome if it was, don't you think?)
As I tidied up afterwards, I realised that I really ought to invite people over for afternoon tea more often. It's one of the least stressful options for entertaining - brunch often means waking up early in the morning to make sure the house is presentable, deal with any last-minute shopping and get started on the cooking, while dinner parties can linger until late and leave someone tidying up at midnight. Tea, on the other hand, is an absolutely perfect compromise. Not too early, not too late, and no one feels guilty if they have to leave after an hour or two because they've got dinner plans.
Not that this particular afternoon tea was perfect, mind you. I'd initially planned it thinking we'd spend an idyllic spring afternoon basking in warm sunshine, sitting beneath the lilacs in full bloom... but Canadian springs being what they are, what we got instead was a frigid weekend, complete with high winds and frost warnings. Idyllic, it was not. So, we cut a large bouquet of lilac blossoms to bring indoors, and sipped our tea basking in the warmth of our central heating instead.
To make up for the weather, I covered the table with an assortment of nibbles, including crustless sandwiches, bite-sized muffins, and scones with all the usual toppings.
And since spring also means locally-grown fresh rhubarb, I couldn't resist stirring some into my scones. Still warm from the oven, flavoured with a hint of spicy ginger and slathered with generous spoonfuls of clotted cream and lemon marmalade, they made the perfect antidote to a cold, blustery spring afternoon... not too sweet, not too tart, but just right.
Rhubarb Ginger Scones
- Total Time: 45 mins
- Yield: 8 scones 1x
These tender, fluffy scones dotted with tangy fresh rhubarb are the perfect addition to a spring brunch or afternoon tea. Serve tjem up still-warm, if you can, with a little container of clotted cream or sweet butter.
- 2 cups diced rhubarb, cut into ½" pieces
- ½ cup + 3 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup cold butter
- 1 ¼ cup milk
- 3 tbsp turbinado sugar
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together rhubarb, 3 tbsp sugar and fresh ginger, and stir to evenly coat the rhubarb pieces.
- In a larger mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, ground ginger and salt with the remaining ½ cup sugar. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in the cold butter, working until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the rhubarb mixture. Add milk, reserving 1 tbsp for later, and stir until just barely combined.
- Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and gently knead 5-6 times. Shape into a ball. Place dough on the prepared baking sheet, then flatten out into a 1" thick round. Using a sharp knife, score the top of the dough into 8 wedges, making sure not to cut all the way through. Brush top with remaining 1 tbsp milk, 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.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Category: Brunch
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: British
Jennifer J says
Very tasty scones! Glad that I read other reviews first. I used 1 c milk and added a bit more flour to pull together. I made smaller size drop scones and they came out perfectly golden brown. The fresh ginger and rhubarb were delicious together. Will be making these again.
Tony & Gill Chapman says
Hi there do you have to stew the rubarb first and how much water do you add to stew it down and how chunky do you leave it to put in the scones as i would live to make then as i grow my own rubarb look forward to the feed back
Isabelle Boucher says
No need to stew the rhubarb for this recipe... just use raw rhubarb chopped into fairly thin slices (~1/2" thick), which will get you nice distinct chunks of rhubarb throughout the scone.
I made these scones this afternoon and after seeing some of the comments about how wet they were, I decided to alter it a bit. Instead of 1 1/4c of milk, I added just under a cup of milk (mostly because I spilled some of it!) after cutting in the butter. I used a stand mixer and just mixed these together, then added the rhubarb mixture. (Note: I also let the rhubarb-ginger mixture sit for a while with the sugar on it to pull out excess moisture, thus adding less moisture to the dough.) I did not knead the dough at all (never have kneaded scone dough). I mixed the rhubarb in till just incorporated with the dough and then used a spoon to make drop scones. The first sheet I made were quite large, as they spread out a lot when baking (I baked them for 27 min). So the second sheet, I made smaller ones and baked them for 23 minutes. They all turned out absolutely delicious! I will definitely make these again.
Isabelle Boucher says
Thanks for the feedback, Callie! I'm glad that you enjoyed these... there are lots of variables in baking that are hard to plan for (ie. the juiciness of your rhubarb, the ambient humidity, changes in mixing techniques, and so on), so it's always best to follow your gut like you did here.
Sue s says
Good taste combination. Very wet dough and just did drop scones.
I love making scones, have made several different flavors with a couple of different recipes. These were the worst!!! Making them for my husband, so I won't be able to eat, except for a taste, but they were so sticky!!! Knead 5 -6 times? I was covered in goo. I added more flour, then more and still more. Ended up dumping the whole lot onto the pan, hope they come out ok, won't be using this recipe again.
Isabelle Boucher says
I'm sorry this one didn't work for you, Bambi. I regularly make this scone recipe, and it's always come out just right for me.
I will say that "knead" in this case (and in basically any scone recipe) refers more to gently folding and smooshing the dough with your hands until it comes together into a cohesive mass, as opposed to the kind of kneading you'd do with bread dough... hopefully that helps to clear things up.
These are delicious! I used dried ginger and cut it in very small pieces and this worked great for substituting the fresh ginger that I didn't have. Had to add an extra 1\2 to 3\4 cup of flour during the kneading process. I will make this recipe again! Thanks for sharing.
Isabelle Boucher says
So glad you enjoyed these, DaVerne! I never thought to try with dried ginger, but that sounds like a delicious solution to the problem of not having fresh ginger.
What a good idea - company for tea! Was browsing though foodbuzz looking for a recipe recipe that I could make and send through the mail and these look perfect. Will be making them this afternoon!
Wow, those look great! Tea time definitely needs to make a grand reappearance in daily life (and siestas).
These were SOOO totally amazing. So amazing I forgot that the weather was crappy that day. Thank you again for having us! We have seriously fond memories of that day.
A Thought For Food says
I adore both rhubarb and ginger, but have never put them together in a recipe before! This sounds terrific and I may even make these this Sunday for brunch!
Lovely, and you make proper scones without cream in them, just on. What's with those weird cream in them scone recipes?
denise @ quickies on the dinner table says
OMG - it's 3.20 in the afternoon right now and I'm so peckish! Your post couldn't have come at a worse or better time!! I have nothing for tea and scones are wonderfully quick and easy but I don't have the rhubarb you see, I NEVER have rhubarb *sigh* Why don't they can the stuff and send it over here? Or freeze it?!? *ugh*
I want these so badly now - they sound wonderful with fresh ginger no less, and your writing is so vivid and evocative - I feel almost transported to your living room!
s. stockwell says
I just love the sound of this one! I have trouble getting the scones to rise and be light with a crunchy outside? We will make these soon. Thank you, s