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Lemon Ginger Cranberry Cream Scones

After Thanksgiving, I was left with cranberries, cream, and crystallized ginger, and then my friend Jill gave me a lemon from the tree in her backyard.  Seriously…a real, live lemon tree!

lemon tree!

When life gives me cranberries, cream, crystallized ginger, and a lemon, I make scones….a few weeks later!  Nothing had gone bad because I froze the cranberries, the cream was unopened, and I put the lemon in the fridge.  Still, I meant to make these at an earlier point.

scone stars

Originally, I was going to use this recipe from Joy of Baking, but add in the lemon/ginger/cranberriness.  Then while I was looking up how to freeze scones, I found that there was already a lemon cranberry cream scone recipe on Smitten Kitchen.  Figured I couldn’t go wrong with Deb!  

This was only the second time that I’ve made scones, but these are very different from my first batch.  Aside from these being sweet (the others were savory), they’re much more moist since they are cream scones.  If you’re someone who thinks scones are too dry, I would recommend this type of scone.

ready to be blended coarse crumbs cranberries and sugar pouring in the cream/eggs

These taste good, but I altered the amounts that I actually used to make the ginger stronger and cardamom less so.   I also didn’t have quite enough zest, so they could have been more lemony.   I didn’t do anything to the structure of the scones, and wouldn’t change a thing about it.

dough patted out
cut scones

Lemon Ginger Cranberry Cream Scones
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Since scones are best the day they’re baked, I’d recommend flash freezing these if you’re not going to eat them all on the first day.   This just means to freeze them on a flat surface (I used a cutting board) so that they’re not touching.  When they’re frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag and keep frozen until ready to bake. You’ll only need to add 3 to 5 minutes to the baking time.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar plus 3 tablespoons additional
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest (I got a little over 1 tablespoon from my lemon)
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, finely chopped (I used 1 tablespoon)
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, optional (I used 1/2 teaspoon and thought it was too much)
1 1/4 cups fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, butter, lemon zest, and cardamom (if using).  Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.  (Alternatively, you may do all of this in a food processor, then transfer to a large bowl.)

In a small bowl, combine the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar with the cranberries, then stir into the flour mixture.

In another small bowl, lightly beat the egg and the yolk, then stir in the cream. Pour the egg/cream mixture into the large bowl with the rest of the ingredients and stir until just combined.

With floured hands, transfer the dough to a well-floured surface, and pat into a 1 inch thick round.  Using either a 2 inch biscuit cutter or the rim of a glass, cut rounds out of the dough.  Keep reforming the scraps and cutting rounds until you run out of dough (I was able to get 9 scones).  If freezing, see note above. To bake, place scones 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake in the middle of the oven for 15 – 20 minutes, or until pale golden.

Deb says that these keep for 1 day if wrapped in plastic wrap and foil in the fridge, or for 1 week in the freezer.

Lemon Ginger Cranberry Cream Scones

Of course it was dark by the time I baked a couple of these…  At least it’s lit by the Christmas tree?  :)