|Apricot Ginger Scones|
Each month a new winner is crowned from the everexpanding group of creative entries. The winner then chooses 3 ingredients for the next Joust and so on and so on....happily ever after. Last months winner Erin at the The Skinny Gourmet chose:
apricots, ginger and butter
I love to participate in this event just for the sake of participating. It is challenging to come up with a recipe that uses the 3 ingredients so keeps my creativity active and me in the kitchen. Apricots are not in season for a while here so I opted for using dried apricots instead. Scones immediately came to mind. I don't participate in the preserved ginger camp...not being a big fan...but for added flavour you can add it to both the scone and the honey butter.
These scones are tender, light and neither too buttery nor too sweet. They have sweet bursts of dried apricot followed by the mildly assertive nip of crystallized ginger if you choose to use it. Spread with the honey apricot butter and a tall glass of orange juice, or, in my case an herbal tea you've just found a few moments of morning serenity.
**Apricot Ginger Scones with Apricot Honey Butter**
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons finely minced crystallized ginger (optional)
1/2 cup diced dried apricots, cut into eight pieces each
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, ground ginger, baking powder and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in the sugar, crystallized ginger and apricots with your hands to distribute all the ingredients evenly.
Add the cup of buttermilk gradually, mixing gently to form a soft dough. Shape the dough into a ball and knead it briefly on a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough in half and pat each half into a 1/2-inch thick round, 5 inches in diameter. Cut each round into six triangles, and transfer the triangles to an ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Just before baking, brush the tops of the scones with 2 tablespoons of buttermilk and sprinkle them with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes (turning the baking sheet 180° halfway through the baking time), until the scones are a light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
½ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup honey
3 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger (optional)
In a heavy saucepan combine apricots, lemon zest, ¼ cup lemon juice and 2 cups water.
Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 45 min. to 1 hour, or until apricots are soft.
Transfer apricots and liquid to a food processor and puree until smooth.
Return to the saucepan, along with honey and the remaining ¼ cup lemon juice.
Simmer, stirring often, until very thick; about 1 hour. Add ginger and let cool.
Makes about 2½ cups
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