Teaism's Ginger Scones
I've always had a thing for ginger. Whenever I had a cold or flu as a little kid, my mom would buy me a bottle of ginger ale as a special treat. It was one of the only times I was allowed to have soda (or "pop" as I called it then). She would also whip up a steaming pot of Egg Drop Soup, with freshly grated garlic and ginger for extra healing power. I don't know whether it was psycho-somatic or what, but I always seemed to feel better afterwards.
In high school, my friend Mira and I shared an affinity for candied ginger, devouring tiny bags of the golden-hued nibs as we discussed boys, college applications, our future careers, and the meaning of life with the self-seriousness and grandiosity only 17-year-olds can muster.
Later, in college, I would open care packages from home to find bags of ginger chews mixed in with magazine and newspaper clippings and homemade cookies, and I would fight back pangs of homesickness, determined not to let my roommates see the tears in my eyes as I clawed my way through the difficulties of adjusting to life in a new city, nearly 1,000 miles from home.
Ginger remains a favorite comfort of mine. After an intense yoga practice, I'll run a hot lavender-scented bubble bath and sip a mug of Yogi ginger tea, savoring the delicious relaxation that follows a good workout. I always ask the flight attendant for ginger ale whenever I'm on an airplane, pretending that its pale bubbly fizz is high-end champagne and that I am an ultra-glamourous international spy, calming my nerves before my next top-secret assignment. Happily, Jason shares my love of good ginger ale, and we have recently taken to drinking Reed's Ginger Beer as a flavorful and healthy alternative to alcohol when we don't want to imbibe.
I stopped by Teaism on my way to work the other day to grab an iced green tea to go. "Do you have scones?" I asked, on a whim, having not eaten any breakfast yet. "Yes," the salesgirl answered. "We only have one kind though...ginger," she added, as though I might be disappointed.
I must say, Teaism's ginger scone might be the most heavenly thing I've ever tasted. Crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, with little chunks of real ginger throughout, and suffering none of the dryness that so often seems to afflict this particular type of pastry. It comes with little packets of butter and jam, but trust me...you won't need it.
Teaism sells the scone mix on their website if you're not able to make it to one of their DC locations. I also sleuthed around a bit and found the recipe online for all you DIY kinds out there. So, without further ado, I present you with:
Teaism's Ginger Scones
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in pea size cubes
2 ounces chopped, crystallized or candied ginger
3/4 cup milk
1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 teaspoon cold water to make an egg wash
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. You can mix by hand or with a food processor or mixer, but be careful not to over blend the dry ingredients. If you over-blend, your scones will be tough and chewy. Put the 7 dry ingredients in a bowl and add the cubes of butter. With your fingers, or with 2 knives, blend the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles a course cornmeal. Some large pieces of butter should remain, this will make your scones light and fluffy. If you are using a processor, pulse briefly. Stir in the ginger bits. Add the milk and work quickly with a fork to incorporate. The dough should be soft and lightly moist. Again, don't over-mix. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and gently pat down until it stands about 1/2-inch thick. Cut into 12 triangles with a dough cutter or a knife and put onto an ungreased baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash and sprinkle with some sugar. Bake for 12 minutes until golden. Let cool briefly.
Photo via Open Mouth Insert Cookie (her version of Teaism's ginger scones).