Saturday, March 14, 2015

Apparently it's National Pi Day...

But I guess I screwed the pooch, because I woke up this morning and churned out a batch of delicious Ginger-Cardamon Scones which are absolutely rockin', but decidedly NOT pie.

I was committed to a recipe that Martha Stewart borrowed from a cookbook writer called Joan Nathan, but discovered before I even started that I didn't have everything that Joan/Martha recommended. However, it was whizzing rain and generally miserable outside, and I was damned if I was going to the grocery store, so I elected to ad-lib the missing parts. I have no idea how these scones are if you actually follow the recipe, but I can assure you that my version is truly excellent.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cardamom pods, crushed and inner seeds ground
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped in 1/4-inch pieces 
  • **This is where things took a turn. I didn't have any crystallized ginger hanging around, so I peeled and then finely minced about 4 tablespoons of fresh ginger. I actually looked up the conversion of fresh-ginger-vs-crystallized-ginger, so this quantity isn't completely arbitrary...
  • 3/4 cup sour cream 
  • **No dice on sour cream either- but weirdly- I did have buttermilk, so I did a mixture of 2/3 c. buttermilk and an additonal 4 T. butter. In my defense, again, I did look up "sour cream substitutes" so I didn't just pull these quantities straight out of a hat. 
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
    2. Place the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, the bowl of a food processor, or in a large bowl and mix by hand. Sift ground cardamom seeds into mixture; stir to combine. Add butter and mix until crumbly.
    3. Add ginger, sour cream, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 egg. Mix, blend, or pulse, just until combined; do not overmix.
    4. Form 1/3 cup dough into a ball or use a large ice cream scoop, and place dough on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing scones about 2 inches apart.
    5. In a small bowl, mix together remaining egg with a dash of water. Brush scones with egg mixture and sprinkle evenly with remaining 4 teaspoons sugar. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
**The last revision: We decided to do a taste test (I LOVE TASTE TESTS!!!) to determine if there was a more exciting/enticing way to finish these scones than with just a sprinkling of granulated sugar. We did a variety of mixtures: Sugar & Salt; Sugar & Chili Powder; Sugar & Ground Cardamon; Sugar & Finely Ground Lavender... 

The jury is still out because we've only tried the Sugar & Chili Powder and the Sugar & Cardamon flavors so far... I will report further tomorrow, but so far, we've been pleased.

In the meantime, I hope the rest of America is enjoying their pie. 

Sorry, family...

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