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Orange Ginger Scones

by Allison Clayton

I’m trying to recall why I was ever intimidated by making scones. There is a fine line between making a batch that is moist enough but not too dry, as the hallmark of a good scone is a slight crumble.

I make them rarely, but I love to experiment when I do. I find it hard to make a smaller recipe because, one, I don’t always feel like doing the math to halve or third it (…lazy…), and two, I love sharing them with roommates, friends, and co-workers.

I learned a cool trick from my father a few months back. When it comes to certain desserts, you may see an instruction that strikes fear in the hearts of many: cutting butter into flour. When I was home in Connecticut my dad made my favorite dessert: apple crisp! Of course, he tops with with a flour and butter-based brown sugar crumble. As I watched him make it, I noted how he had a frozen stick of butter and a cheese grater. I was intrigued. What did he do? He grated the frozen butter! It made its incorporation into the flour and brown sugar much simpler. Ahhh, my father, the culinary genius…


2 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
12 tablespoons (1 & 1/2 sticks) butter, cubed or shredded while frozen
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 cup heavy cream, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed orange juice, plus 1 teaspoon, divided
3/4 cup candied ginger, finely chopped
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar


Be prepared: when mixing this dough with your hands, it is exceedingly sticky!


1 Preheat oven to 400°F.

2 In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, orange zest, and baking powder. Whisk thoroughly to combine.

3 Add butter to dry ingredients; mix with hands or a pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly and mealy. Form a well in the middle of the mixture and add 3/4 cup of heavy cream and 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed orange juice. Use hands to combine mixture until all ingredients are incorporated
4 Turn dough onto a floured surface and lightly knead for no more than 30 seconds. Form dough into a rough shape, approximately 10 inches in diameter. Cut into 8 triangular slices.

5 Place scones on parchment paper-covered baking sheet. Combine two tablespoons of heavy cream and 1 teaspoon freshly-squeezed orange juice. Brush tops with cream mixture and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 14 – 16 minutes, or until tops are lightly browned and slightly cracked.

6 Place on wire rack to cool before eating. Store remaining scones in an airtight container.

Serves 8.