Apricot Ginger Scones

An original recipe by Andie

(Any dried fruit may be substituted for the apricots; apple, fig, peach, pear, mango, or a combination of two or more. Chop and measure after steaming the dried fruits.)

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar, superfine or caster sugar if available
2 1/2 tsp baking powder – I recommend Rumsford and make sure it is fresh!
1/2 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
3/4 tsp kosher salt, Diamond Flake. If using regular salt make it 1/2 teaspoon.
5 Tablespoons COLD butter, cut into 1/2 inch dice
3/4 cup dried apricots, steamed to plump and finely diced
1/3 cup crystallized or candied ginger, finely diced
1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 cup cold buttermilk

Place all dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to mix.
Add butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
(You can also mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl with a wire whisk then cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender, fork or two knives.)

Add the diced apricots, ginger and lemon zest.
Pulse about 3 times if using the food processor.
The fruit should be distributed evenly throughout the mixture.

Add the buttermilk and pulse or mix until the dough forms a ball or all the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Do not overwork the dough, too much mixing will produce a tough, heavy scone.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Lightly flour a board and turn the dough out onto it.
Knead a few times until the dough holds together and feels smooth to the touch.

Divide dough into two equal portions, form into balls.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, place the dough balls on the parchment and flatten to about 3/4 inch thick.
There should be about 1 1/2 inch space between the rounds.
With a bench knife or straight knife, cut straight down through the dough across the center of each round then cut crosswise so each round is divided into 4 quarters. Do not separate.

- Option: You can brush the top with cream if you like a slightly shiny crust and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Place baking sheet in preheated oven and set timer for 20 minutes.

Check when timer sounds and if they are not yet lightly browned, leave in oven about 5 more minutes.

Remove immediately from oven, slide parchment onto a cooling rack and allow to cool slightly. Serve warm with butter or clotted cream and lemon curd or your favorite jam or jelly.

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