Refreshing and light, these lemon cardamom sourdough scones are the perfect use for that sourdough discard this spring. With hints of ginger and bright citrus notes, you’ll want to add these pastries to your baking list.
Spring is in the air and the temperatures are starting to warm up here in South Carolina. Before long, fresh produce will be ripening on the vine ready to be picked and enjoyed. I love this time of year. Everything starts to come to life again and inspire me anew. I’m feeling that urge to create, plan, and soak up nature as the spring season steadily approaches.
I crave recipes during the spring that are refreshing to the palate. After eating heavy decadent desserts all winter long, it’s always nice to switch to more light baked goods incorporating fresh ingredients during the warmer spring months. From sourdough blueberry lemon muffins, strawberry rhubarb pie to these refreshing citrus scones. I’m craving all of the seasonal things.
How to Make Perfect Scones
Before getting into how to make these, I want to give some pointers on making scones that not only taste good, but are pretty as well. Because, don’t we all like displaying a beautiful baked good in our kitchen? I know I do. It’s one of the things that make my home feel more homey.
Tip #1 – Keep it Cold
Scones are kind of hard to nail when you’ve never made them before. My first tip is to make sure all of your ingredients are cold. I’m talking been in the freezer cold. Scones are a lot like biscuits in structure, they are mean to have chunks of butter throughout. This is what gives them that flakey texture. Having super cold ingredients prevents the butter from melting down as you mix your dough. Make sure your flour, egg, and cream have all been chilled well before making these. For the butter, I recommend grating it up with a cheese grater and then sticking in the freezer right up until it’s time for it to be used.
Tip #2 – Light Hands
Don’t over mix your scone dough. The best technique for making scones is to work with light movements. Before shaping, gently fold the dough until just incorporated using a spatula. Using your hands can warm the butter up causing it to melt. Remember, you want the butter chunks intact. And when shaping, instead of pressing firmly into a circle, gently pat the dough out. It’s okay to use your hands for this since you’re only briefly touching the dough.
Tip #3 – Proper Baking
So now that you know your ingredients should remain cold and you should handle your dough gently, my last tip is to bake them properly. Scones should be baked at an over temperature around 400 degrees. Remember that biscuit reference I made? Exactly. Wait for the oven to heat up fully before adding these in. And it’s best to let them go straight from the fridge to your oven. Not only should you wait for the oven to be hot enough, but I also recommend pulling the scones out before they are fully browned on top. This will allow them to bake a little bit while still on the baking sheet without being overly done and dried out.
Instructions For Making Lemon Cardamom Sourdough Scones
To start, take your flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and candied lemon pieces and add them to a bowl. Whisk together.
In a separate bowl, mix your sourdough starter discard, sugar, egg, heavy cream, grated ginger, lemon juice, and lemon extract.
Then, going back to your bowl of dry ingredients, using a pastry cutter, food processor or a fork. Cut the grated butter into the flour mixture until it resembles a crumbly texture. Butter chunks should be about the size of peas when you’re finished.
Once done cutting the butter in, add the bowl of wet ingredients to the bowl of flour and butter. Using a spatula, mix until a shaggy mass has formed. Basically, what that means is the dough still looks wet and not fully mixed together.
Now on a floured work surface, gently press the dough into a circle, patting the edges to make it even. Keep the dough on the thicker side, making it about almost an inch in height. Cut the circle into 8 equal pieces using a dough scraper or sharp knife. It helps to flour the edge of your tool before cutting into the scones to prevent the dough from sticking to it.
Gently transfer the scones to a cold baking pan and place in the fridge for a few hours to overnight to chill thoroughly. This is optional, but I recommend to not skip this step. Chilling helps the scones hold they’re shape so they don’t flatten out.
Bake these sourdough scones in a 425 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. Everyone’s oven bakes differently, so I recommend watching them around the 10 minutes mark. Pull the scones out before fully browned and allow them to continue to sit on the hot baking sheet until cooled down.
Lemon Icing For Lemon Cardamom Sourdough Scones
This is totally optional, but I topped these with a simple lemon icing to add a little extra bakery effect. To make lemon icing, mix together 1 cup of confectioners sugar, 2 Tablespoons of milk and 1 Tsp of Vanilla extract. Drizzle on the scones after they have completely cooled.
How to Store Sourdough Scones
Sourdough scones can be frozen after baked or you can freeze the precut scones and pop them in the oven when ready to eat fresh. They also keep well in a covered desert stand for a few days or an airtight bag.
Other Sourdough Discard Recipes
- 2 1/2 Cups of Unbleached All Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup of Sourdough Discard
- 1/2 Cup of Organic Cane Sugar
- 10 Tbsp of Salted Butter
- 1 Egg
- 1/2 Cup of Heavy Cream
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1 1/2 Tsp of Freshly Grated Ginger Root
- 1 Tsp Ground Cardamom
- 1 Tsp Lemon Juice
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Cup of Candies Lemon Peels
- Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and candied lemon peels in a large bowl
- In a seperate bowl, mix the sourdough discard, sugar, egg, heavy crea, grated ginger, lemon juice, and lemon extract
- Using a pastry butter, cut the grated butter into the flour mixture until small pea sized balls have formed throughout the flour
- Add the wet ingreidnts to the dry ingredients using a spatula
- Gently fold together until mixed into a shaggy mass
- Turn the dough onto a well floured surface
- Gently press the dough into a 1" thick circle
- Cut into 8 equal parts like a pizza
- Transfer the sourdough scones to a baking sheet and chill to a few hours to overnight for best results
- Bake in a 425 degree oven for 10-15 minutes
- Remove the scones from the oven before they start to fully brown
- Cool on a cooling rack and drizzle with lemon icing (optional)