Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gilligans Island

Naaah. Not really. Though I liked that show. But I think that was the first time I really thought about the word Ginger, which has since become one of my favorite words in the English language because I am such a fan of the root. The flowers are mighty pretty too
I love pretty much anything with ginger in it. Will gravitate towards it like a horse to hay. The root on its own is wonderful chopped up and boiled to make tea (mix it with licorice, dandelion and burdock roots to make my friend Carmen's longevity tea). As a spice it gives an Asian tang to greens, sauces, soups. It's rather amazing in ice cream. And jam. I made as favors for my rehearsal dinner nectarine raspberry jam with ginger and I had a hard time not eating it hot right out of the pot. And it is a star of baked goods. Cookies, cakes, frostings.....there is no end. I'm sure I will share many a recipe with you using this humble root in the time to come, but for now let me start with one of my favorites: the Ginger Scone.

I got this recipe out of the LA Times, gosh, a couple of years ago?? I love scone recipes because even seeing them on paper reminds me how my mom used to take my sister Nina and I to the Baker's Cafe in Charleston after school when we were growing up for scones and tea. She's a great mom. Sigh. Time flies. She instilled in me a deep and lasting love of all things scone.

I used to crave the ginger ones from Rockenwagner Bakery and now I don't have to crave them because I can MAKE them. It's their recipe. I keep saying I'm going to try twists on it, like add chocolate or raspberries. But I never do. When it comes down to it I want as much unadulterated gingerness as I can get my teeth into. They are reeeeeally easy--the only time consuming thing is cutting the butter into the flour, but if you have a food processor that takes all of 30 seconds. Plus cleaning the Cuisinart.

They make amazing gifts, packaged in bakery boxes with some homemade jam (I'm going to make a tangerine marmalade this weekend so I'll get you the recipe for that soon. In the meantime try peach rosemary jam from Martha. O.M.G. This was the other one I made for the rehearsal dinner and people have written me to send more.) You can also bake a batch, give one to your husband, save one for yourself, and take the rest over to your sister-in-law who gave birth two weeks ago. Clotted cream and earl grey tea optional.

Ginger Scones from Rockenwagner bakery

Makes 10

4 c flour

1/4 c sugar

3 1/2 t baking powder

1 3/4 t baking soda

1 t salt

1 c butter

1 c crystallized ginger, cut into 1/4 in dice

1/2 lb fresh ginger, peeled and pureed, about 1 cup

2 eggs

1 c heavy cream

Heat over to 325. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt in large bowl. Cut in the butter with pastry cutter or fork until it’s coarse meal. *Or use the food processor!!!!* Stir in crystallized and pureed ginger til well combined

In small bowl whisk together eggs and 3/4 of the cream. Stir the cream mixture into the flour mixture until a soft dough forms—don’t overmix

Divide the dough into 10 parts and roll each into a ball. Place scones on parchment-lined baking pan and brush tops with remaining cream. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden

Cool on wire rack

*the dough will be kinda crumbly--just gently keep pressing it into balls. And don't use too much cream when brushing the tops--a light brushing is perfect. You'll have cream left over.


  1. This looks delish, Melanie! I'm going to make some for sure! I too have a ginger fetish.