June 27, 2012

RECIPE: Grapefruit Ginger Scones

Did you know that grapefruit and ginger were destined to be BFFs? That's right. Long ago, the Universe looked about and said, "Hey, you know what would be cool? If this bodacious citrus fruit and this gnarly-looking root tasted AWESOME together." Apparently the Universe sounds like Keanu Reeves in the 90's. Who knew? Regardless, when it comes to grapefruit and ginger, the Universe was dead on.

How, you might ask, did I get turned on to this particular tidbit of the Universe's infinite knowledge? Through the wonders of the internet, that's how. You know, the man-made version of infinite knowledge (and porn). While exploring my favorite food blogs, I came across a mouth-watering scone recipe on Joy the Baker. Let me just take a moment to say how consistently fantastic Joy's blog is. Not only does she have the best name ever, she is a baking goddess with a quirky sense of humor who takes a mean food photo (PLUS she's vegan-friendly). Check her out.

So Joy the Baker gets me hooked on the idea of "Grapefruit Honey Yogurt Scones". Except, you know, all veganized and stuff... which means removing the honey and yogurt features... which leaves you with "Grapefruit Scones". Still yummy-sounding, but not in the "I-must-have-these-now" kind of way I was hoping for. Thus began a search for other grapefruit-y recipes to use as inspiration. Before too long, I landed on a promising tea bread by the folks at Vegetarian Times. The "grapefruit-ginger" combination sounded intriguing, the "tea bread" bit not so much. I ran off to the store to buy crystallized ginger and soy yogurt for a new recipe I christened "Grapefruit Ginger Scones".

These scones are... how should I put this delicately.... utterly kick-ass. I love them. I ate too many exactly the right number of them. And then I ate one more. The recipe came together beautifully, turning out bakery-worthy delights shrouded in a crunchy sugary crust. With each bite, sweet-tart grapefruit bounces off spicy ginger, rounded out by nutty whole wheat flour and a splash of agave nectar. Yep. You want to make these.

Grapefruit Ginger Scones
adapted from Joy the Baker

Ruby Red grapefruit, 1, zested and segmented (Confused? Here's a how-to segment citrus video!)
natural cane sugar, 1/4 cup, divided
white whole wheat flour, 3/4 cup
all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup
baking powder, 1 teaspoon
baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon
salt, 1/4 teaspoon
organic canola oil, 1/4 cup
plain soy yogurt, 1/2 cup
agave nectar, 2 tablespoons
chopped crystallized ginger, 1/4 cup
non-dairy milk (just a bit to wash the tops of the scones)

First up is making some fancy-pants grapefruit-scented sugar. Take the zest from your grapefruit and combine it with the sugar in a happy little pile on your cutting board. Smush the heck out of the pair using the back of a spoon until the sugar turns a light grapefruit-y hue, signaling that the oil of the grapefruit zest has permeated the sugar (that's good). Set aside for the moment. Chop the grapefruit segments into bite sized bits and set aside.

In a food processor, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the grapefruit sugar, pulsing a few times to combine. Using the feed tube of the food processor, slowly pour in the oil while pulsing to create a crumbly, sandy mixture with pea-sized bits of dough beginning to form. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, form a well in the middle, and add the yogurt, agave nectar, grapefruit segments, and ginger.  Use a fork to combine the wet ingredients with the dry, being careful not to overmix. The dough will be quite sticky. Don't freak out.

Prepare a clean surface (I like to use a silpat on the counter) with a good sprinkling of flour and turn out the dough. With floured hands, quickly form the dough into a circle approximately 8 inches across and 1 inch thick. Cut the dough circle into 6 triangles and place on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment. Brush the top of each scone with a bit of milk, followed by a healthy layer of the remaining grapefruit sugar. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 17 minutes, until the scones are a rich golden brown. Cool for at least 10 minutes before enjoying.

I ate the scones from this batch plain - no butter, no jam - along with a fresh cup of tea or coffee. But... the next time I make them, I may get crazy with a big dollop of whipped coconut cream. Because that sounds amazing. I think the Universe would agree.