Fresh Strawberry & Ginger Scones

(30 minutes, plus cooling time, makes 16 mini scones)

In Sri Lanka, strawberries are an introduced horticultural crop, very popular in the hill country. I have fond memories of eating fabulous strawberries from roadside stands near Nuwara Eliya. Sri Lankans enjoy strawberries fresh, in milkshakes, cooked down into jam, whipped into a refreshing fool, or made into ice cream.

A hint of ginger adds subtle complexity to these lovely fresh strawberry scones. Made with plenty of butter and cream, they’re a delectable indulgence.

In many baked goods, you can substitute frozen fruit for fresh successfully, but I wouldn’t recommend that here — frozen strawberries will give off too much liquid. Look for fresh, ripe strawberries — the best for eating will also be the best in your scones. My children don’t like crystallized ginger, so when baking for them, I leave it out.

2 c. flour
¼ c. granulated sugar
1 T baking powder
½ t. salt
1/2 t. ground ginger
6 T cold unsalted butter
1 c. heavy cream, plus 1 T for brushing the scones
1 t. vanilla extract
1 c. chopped fresh strawberries
1/2 c. crystallized ginger, chopped fine, optional

2 T sugar

for glaze (optional):
1 ½ c. confectioners’ sugar
2 T milk

½ t. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray mini scone pan with Baker’s Joy (or butter and flour pan, which will be kind of a pain).

(If you don’t have a mini scone pan, you can cut and shape these by hand, and bake on a regular baking sheet, placing them quite close together. If you pop them in the freezer for 30 minute before baking, they’ll hold shape better.)

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and ground ginger.

3. Chop butter in small pieces and cut into flour with a pastry cutter (or with your fingers) until mixture resembles coarse meal. (It’s fine to have small lumps.)

4. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 c. heavy cream and the vanilla extract. Pour liquid ingredients over flour mixture; stir with a spatula until dough begins to form. Don’t overmix. Gently stir in chopped crystallized ginger, if using, and chopped fresh strawberries.

5. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead a few times. Cut into 16 equal pieces and press into the cavities of the pan. Use a pastry brush to brush the tops of the scones with the additional T of heavy cream. Sprinkle with 2 T sugar.

6. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool 20 minutes in pan, then remove from pan to wire rack and cool completely.

7. I don’t think these scones need a sweet glaze, but some people love a little extra sweetness. And it does look pretty. If you’d like to glaze, make it while the scones are cooling. In a small bowl, whisk the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla together until smooth. Drizzle glaze generously over completely cooled scones.

Serve warm or room temperature, with additional fresh strawberries if possible. Can be split and served with butter or clotted cream, and jam, if you like, though when freshly baked, I don’t think these scones need anything else!

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