The trick to making a good scone is to have cold butter and work quickly. Just pull the dough together, don’t knead it. I usually press it into shape with my hand instead of a rolling pin so I’m not tempted to over do it.
Yield: 12 Scones
Preparation time: 10 min.
Total time: 1 hr. 5 min.
Source: Sharon E. Russell
Take the butter out of the refrigerator and chop it into small cubes. Put back in the refrigerator or freezer to keep cold. Cold butter is the secret to flaky scones so depending on the temperature in your kitchen when you’re baking decide where to keep it until ready for it.
Chop the crystallized ginger into small pieces. About 1/4″ works well since it’s about the size of the dried cranberries.
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
Using a pastry blender or your fingers mix the cold butter into the flour mixture until it resembles pea size pieces. Don’t mix the butter to get soft or warm.
Add the chopped ginger and dried cranberries and stir to combine.
Make a well in the center of the mixture.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla and half and half.
Pour into the well of the dry ingredients and butter mixture. Stir lightly with a fork or spatula just until it holds together.
Dump the mixture onto your marble or granite surface and pull it all together quickly with your hands. Knead briefly to get it all combined but don’t overwork. Again, you want the butter pieces to remain cool and not all melted into the dough.
Scrape the dough onto the parchment or pan, and divide it in half. Round each half into a 6″ circle. The circles should be about 3/4″ thick. Alternatively, roll the dough 3/4″ thick and cut with a round cutter.
Brush each circle with milk, and sprinkle with raw sugar, if desired.
Using a knife or bench knife that you’ve run under cold water, slice each circle into 6 wedges. Carefully pull the wedges away from the center to separate them just a bit; there should be about 1/2″ space between them, at their outer edges.
For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F/218°C/Gas Mark 7.
You could make these the night before and put them in the refrigerator or freezer for morning. Or freeze them in an airtight container for later use. I always freeze half of mine since there are just the two of us.
Bake the scones for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they’re golden brown. When you pull one away from the others, it should look baked all the way through; the edge shouldn’t look wet or unbaked.
Remove the scones from the oven, and cool briefly on the pan. Serve warm. When they’re completely cool, wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to several days.