The hardest thing about returning from a vacation is focusing on everyday life when your thoughts are on a different continent. It took almost two weeks to snap back into reality. Of course, sorting hundreds of photos I had taken during the trip didn’t help a bit with the re-entry.
As much as I love vacations, I like to return to the simple everyday routine of New York life. Grocery shopping, a workout at the gym, preparing dinner in my own kitchen, an exhilarating dance class-these are just a few things I truly enjoy. The only thing I really missed about vacation is spending every moment with M on our adventures. Note to self: must plan another vacation soon.
Last week, writing the post on High Tea at Four Seasons got me thinking that we need more of those stepping out moments to rejuvenate ourselves. Sitting down during the week to leisurely sip tea and nibble on finger goodies are out of the question, however. M and I have very different schedules, so we must take advantage of the weekends.
On Saturday and Sunday, M and I love to share a potful made from tea leaves discovered on our trips. It might not be High Tea, but it’s certainly a slowing-down moment–it just needs a little nosh to make it complete.
I think scones are perfect for the weekends. They’re good for breakfast and certainly delightful for an afternoon treat. I layered these Ginger-Lime Coconut Scones with triple ginger (ground ginger, crystallized ginger and freshly grated ginger), zesty lime and flakes of aromatic unsweetened coconut. The technique mimics puff pastry by folding shavings of frozen butter to create layers of flakey center and a crispy exterior.
The aroma of ginger wafting from the oven is intoxicating. It’s the perfect East meet West guilty pleasure to go with a cup of the famous Pu-Erh tea from Yunnan province.
Ginger-Lime Coconut Scones
adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
yield: 8 servings
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), frozen whole with wrapper
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely grated
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces), plus more for rolling
1/2 cup sugar (3-1/2 ounces), plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon grated lime zest, about 2 lime
1-1/2 cups crystalized ginger, chopped
1 cup unsweetened coconut, preferred large flakes
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Score and remove half of wrapper from each stick of frozen butter. Grate unwrapped ends on large holes of box grater (you should grate total of 8 tablespoons). Place grated butter in freezer until needed. Melt 2 tablespoons of remaining un-grated butter and set aside. Save remaining 6 tablespoons butter for another use.
2. Whisk together coconut milk, sour cream and fresh ginger in medium bowl; refrigerate until needed. Whisk flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, salt, and lime zest in medium bowl. Add frozen butter to flour mixture and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.
3. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; fold with spatula until just combined. With rubber spatula, transfer dough to liberally floured work surface. Dust surface of dough with flour; with floured hands, knead dough 6 to 8 times, until it just holds together in ragged ball, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.
4. Roll dough into approximate 12-inch square, fold dough into thirds like a business letter. Lift short ends of dough and fold into thirds again to form approximate 4-inch square. Transfer dough to plate lightly dusted with flour and chill in freezer 10 minutes.
5. Transfer dough to floured work surface and roll into approximate 12-inch square again. Sprinkle chopped crystalized ginger and unsweetened coconut evenly over surface of dough, then press down so they are slightly embedded in dough. Using bench scraper or thin metal spatula, loosen dough from work surface. Roll dough, pressing to form tight log. Lay seam-side down and press log into 12 by 4-inch rectangle. Using sharp, floured knife, cut rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet.
6. Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar. Bake until tops and bottoms are golden brown, 18 to 25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes before serving.