Sometimes you want a special breakfast. Something that feels like it came from a bakery. But you don’t want to put your shoes on and you want to be able to eat it before your mind wanders to lunch.
That’s where these orange ginger scones come in.
They’re dead simple to make. The dough comes together in about five minutes. The icing in about 30 seconds.
They’re shot through with citrus flavor from the orange zest and dotted with chewy bits of crystallized ginger and have a faint whisper of nutmeg in the background.
Then, as if they weren’t delicious enough as is, they get drizzled with a vanilla crème fraîche icing for a delightful bit of tangy richness.
These are, to be sure, American style scones, which are richer and sweeter than their British brethren. But the scones themselves are restrained in their sweetness, with only a tablespoon of sugar in the dough which makes the icing a welcome addition rather than something that tips these over the line into dessert territory.
And unlike some scone doughs which get unbelievably sticky or require fiddly rolling and cutting and chilling steps, this dough is easy to handle and just gets patted into a circle, sprinkled with ginger (and if you wanted to skip the icing you could sprinkle some extra sugar over the top), and cut into wedges that hold their shape like champs.
They have a pleasing sturdiness from cream and butter and loft from a generous amount of baking powder. And unlike some scones that veer toward the cakey side, they don’t have an egg.
They come out of the oven puffed and browned, studded with glistening bits of ginger, just waiting to be adorned with icing.
But please, let them cool for a few minutes first.
Then drizzle. Then eat.
Orange Ginger Scones with Crème Fraîche Icing
These scones are similar to the ones you find in American bakeries. They’re crisp on the outside, tender on the inside with a dense, close crumb. They are enriched with butter and cream and raised with baking soda. The combination of orange zest and crystallized ginger is lovely here, especially with the tangy vanilla-scented crème fraîche icing. If you don’t want to bother with icing (though, really, you should, this one is so easy and good), sprinkle the wedges of dough with sugar before baking.
For the scones
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (250 grams)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- zest of one orange
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons crystallized ginger finely chopped
For the icing
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup crème fraîche
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the scones
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the flour, baking powder, sugar, nutmeg, orange zest, and salt to a large mixing bowl and whisk together.
Add the butter cubes and toss with the flour, then smash butter cubes with your fingers and rub them into course crumb-sized pieces. Stir in the heavy cream until a thick dough forms. All the flour should be moistened, but the dough shouldn’t be sticky. Turn it out onto your parchment lined baking sheet, pat into a 9-inch circle, and cut into 8 wedges with a sharp knife. Arrange the wedges around the baking sheet, leaving at least an inch between them. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before topping with icing.
Make the icing
While the scones are baking, make the icing. Add the powdered sugar, crème fraîche, and vanilla extract to a small bowl and stir until combined. Drizzle over scones after scones have cooled for a few minutes.