i first discovered a recipe for ginger crumble scones 12 years ago (side note: how is 2005 twelve years ago?!) and i’ve loved them (at least in theory) ever since.
i say “at least in theory” because the recipe called for 2 1/2+ sticks of butter, a cup of heavy cream, 4 eggs, and 1 2/3 cups sugar. le yikes! if we’re being honest, i just don’t feel that great after starting my day with dessert, however delicious it may be.
(if we’re being *really* honest, i’m beginning to wonder if the time of day is not the issue and maybe my body just doesn’t love sugar, flour, and dairy, but more on that some other day, after i’ve done more experimenting and, possibly, grieving. just kidding about that grieving! sort of…)
so, back to these scones. basically, i wanted to keep the gingery deliciousness and make it so that i could eat more than just a few bites of one.
back in december, i shared some delicious pear cardamom scones that i love (and maaaay even be a contender for “favorite scone” award, edging out this long time favorite, the ginger crumble scone. *may* let’s not be hasty with deciding on our favorite scone…).
one of the things that i like best/one of the things that i like them in spite of, is that they have very little sugar. also conspicuously absent is the heavy cream, 1 of those sticks of butter, and half of the eggs of the original ginger crumble scones recipe.
now, at this point, those of you who are into baking/things that taste good are probably getting nervous. let me reassure you of two things: 1) there’s still a bunch of butter (plus crème fraiche) and 2) because of the crumble topping on these scones (and the fact that crystallized ginger is literally coated in sugar), these scones still have quite a bit of sugar (which boosts flavor and helps baked goods retain moisture/stay fresh).
and while it’s true that scones don’t stay fresh when sitting on the counter for days, you can very successfully freeze the ones you don’t eat right away. well, if you have any left. i, for one, find these scones to be irresistible now.
did you make this recipe? i’d love to know what you think of it! leave a comment below and share a picture on instagram with the hashtag #tastyseasons.
ginger crumble scones have a sweet and spicy kick from ginger and a delicious crumble topping that makes them irresistible! 2 kinds of ginger combine to give these scones a gingery kick.
- 75 g. (2 5/8 oz. / 5/8 cup) all purpose flour
- 53 g. (1 7/8 oz. / 1/4 cup) dark brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 5 tablespoons (2 1/2 oz. / 70 g.) cold unsalted butter, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 385 g. (2 ¾ - 3 ¼ cups / 13 ½ oz.) all purpose flour, see notes
- 2 teaspoons baking powder (i recommend aluminum free)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 113 g. (1/2 cup / 1 stick / 4 oz.) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 8 – 10 pieces
- 138 g. (4 7/8 oz. / 3/4 cup) chopped crystallized ginger
- 180 g. (3/4 cup / 6 3/8 oz.) crème fraiche (can substitute full fat sour cream)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg yolk
- in a medium bowl (or the bowl of your food processor, if you’re going to use that for the scones), combine the flour, dark brown sugar, and ground ginger; mix well.
- scatter the butter pieces across the top of the flour mixture. cut with a pastry cutter, two dull butter knives, or pulse in the food processor until the butter is cut into small bits. sprinkle the vanilla over the top and use your finger tips to gently and briefly mix the vanilla in and get the crumble to clump together in large and small bits. you really can’t go wrong, unless the butter melts from the heat of your hands (in which case, put the whole bowl in the fridge until the butter chills then break the big lump into smaller bits). set aside (transfer to a different bowl if you used your food processor bowl).
- set a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400° F. line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- you can make these scones in either a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or, better, this scraper blade), a food processor fitted with the metal blade attachment, or by hand. using your chosen method, briefly mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, and granulated sugar together on low speed, just until combined. add the cold butter pieces and beat/process on low speed, until the butter is beginning to break down, but there are still pieces the size of a grape. this takes about 15 – 30 seconds in a food processor, 30 – 60 seconds in a stand mixer, and likely a few minutes by hand (using two butter knives or a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour).
- if using a stand mixer, add the crystallized ginger and beat on low speed for just a few seconds, until the ginger is mixed in. if you were using a food processor, turn the flour mixture into a bowl and mix in the crystallized ginger using a wooden spoon. if you were hand mixing, use a wooden spoon to stir in the crystallized ginger.
- in a small bowl, whisk together the crème fraiche, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk. if you’re using a stand mixer, turn it on to low speed and pour the liquid in, then beat for 20 – 30 seconds, just until the dough comes together. if you’re mixing by hand, use the wooden spoon to combine the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and stir until the dough comes together.
- if using a mixer, remove the bowl from the mixer. use your hands to gather and lift the dough so that any stray flour bits at the bottom are incorporated. regardless of your mixing method, the dough will be relatively stiff.
- use a ½ cup measuring cup to scoop out rounds of dough and set them at least 2” (5 cm) apart on the lined baking sheets. you should end up with 10 scones. flatten the tops of the scones gently so the crumble doesn’t fall off.
- use a pastry brush to brush the tops of the scones with the milk. try not to let the milk drip down the sides as this could prevent the scones from rising as much. gently press a generous amount of crumble on top of each scone. clean up any big pieces of crumble that fall on the baking sheet as they will burn.
- put one baking sheet in the refrigerator to keep the dough cool while you put the other sheet in the oven. bake the scones for 16 – 17 minutes, until they are pale golden brown on the edges. let the scones cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool a few more minutes. serve warm.
flour measurement i measure flour in grams. when i give volume equivalents (cups) for flour, i use the king arthur ingredient weight chart. by that chart, 385 g. of flour is 3 ¼ cups. in the recipe that served as the jumping off point for this recipe, the author gives an equivalent of 2 ¾ cups. if you’re going to measure in cups, start with the lower amount and then add more flour if the dough is way too soft and sticky and incapable of holding shape when you scoop it out into scone shaped heaps.
a couple notes on the crystallized ginger…
first, look for crystallized ginger (thin strips with sugar granules all over it), not candied ginger (cubes dusted in finely ground sugar), as the crystallized is much easier to chop.
second, chop the ginger by hand with a sharp knife; don’t put it in the food processor or blender.
third, if you have a trader joe’s near you, that’s definitely your best (cheapest) option for buying crystallized ginger; they sell an 8 oz. bag of it for less than $2. if you don’t have tj’s, check the bulk bins and the random shelves around the produce area at your local grocery store for crystallized ginger. nuts.com also sells it for $6/lb. whatever you do, do not purchase those tiny little bottles of it in the spice aisle because then these scones will cost you $200 to make and you won’t do it and we’ll both be sad.
the scones are best enjoyed the day you bake them. if you have leftovers, they keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. if you want to store them for longer, freeze them in an airtight container (either before or after baking and cooling). if you freeze them before baking them, bake them directly from the freezer and add 5 – 10 minutes to the baking time. if you freeze them after baking, allow them to thaw at room temperature, then heat gently in the toaster oven or the microwave (though they won’t be crispy on top).
ginger crumble scone idea adapted from a ginger crumble scones recipe that ran in the boston globe on november 30, 2005. the actual base scone recipe was adapted from my pear cardamom scones, which were adapted from pear-cardamom walnut scones in baking with less sugar: recipes for desserts using natural sweeteners and little-to-no white sugar by joanne chang.
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