This is an American classic in a way I like it most – the tops of the biscuits are sprinkled with crystallized ginger and the strawberries themselves are marinated in ginger-lemon syrup. Instead of the more traditional whipped cream, I prefer a mascarpone-sour cream mixture for the filling. Well, maybe it’s quite a deviation from the classic, but a very good-tasting one.
Makes about one dozen 2 ½-inch scones
For the scones:
- 2 cups + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 stick (4 oz; 113 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
- ½ cup cold buttermilk
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 egg lightly beaten with 1 tsp water for egg wash
- Heaped 1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
For the strawberry filling:
- 40 g fresh ginger, peeled, sliced very thinly
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 lb strawberries, thinly sliced
For the mascarpone filling:
- 8 oz mascarpone cheese
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 2 tsp icing sugar, sifted
- 1/8 tsp salt
Make the scones:
Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat. Place this baking sheet into another one to protect the bottom of the scones from overbrowning. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt. Add the butter pieces into the bowl and, using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the butter into the mixture until it is evenly distributed and no large pieces of butter are visible. Combine the buttermilk, egg yolk, and vanilla extract in a glass measuring cup, whisk. Add to the dry ingredient and stir with a fork until the dough comes together.
Coat your hands with some flour and pull the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface. Knead the dough lightly, folding and flattening it several times. Pat (or roll) the dough into a disk, a little bit less than 1-inch thick. Using a round biscuit cutter, dipped in flour to prevent sticking, cut as many scones as you can. You can gather the scraps (but don’t overwork the dough) and reroll once. Although, the best scones are the ones from the first batch. Transfer the scones onto the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle with the chopped crystallized ginger.
Bake the scones for about 20 minutes, until well risen and golden brown. Cool the scones on the baking sheet on a rack for several minutes, then transfer to the rack to cool until slightly warm.
Make the strawberry filling:
Prepare the strawberries before you start working on the scones; the berries need a couple of hours to absorb the flavor.
In a medium saucepan combine all ingredients except the strawberries. Bring to a boil over medium–high heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Keep boiling until the mixture is reduced to about a half and becomes syrupy, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat, cool to room temperature. After that, the syrup can be refrigerated up to several days before combining it with the strawberries.
Put the sliced strawberries into a medium bowl. Pour the ginger syrup through a strainer and over the berries. Stir gently with a silicone spatula to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Make the mascarpone filling:
In a medium bowl, whisk all ingredients together until well combined, light and fluffy.
Assemble the dessert:
Split the barely warm biscuit horizontally in half. Spoon a generous dollop of mascarpone cream over the bottom part. Top with the ginger-infused strawberries, spoon some of the ginger syrup over the berries. Replace the “lid” and serve at once.