Lemongrass Poppy Seed Scones

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The original plan was to use fresh blackberries, lemon zest, and maybe a hint of basil syrup. It was to be the scone of scones! However, the blackberries I picked up were lacking in flavor, the back of the class blackberries, lazy, uninspired and without fervor. The lemon was hard as a rock, it's zest paltry. The basil went limp in the heat before I could even get it home, tired and impotent, I had no desire to use it. It may have been good flavor wise, but the stars just didn't seem to align.

Still, I was god damn hungry. Scrimmaging around the pantry I located some dried, finely shredded lemongrass and a bunch of poppy seeds left over from when I made cookies. The poppy seed's nutty and slightly citric pop seemed like an obvious choice, and since I had no lemon zest, lemongrass would be a fine substitute I wagered.

The result was surprising, the scones were nutty and delicious, but the lemongrass perfused the scones and seemed to create pockets of lemony and grassy (duh) flavor. The lemongrass became alive and really a pleasant zing, dressing up the otherwise nutty aroma'd scones and with a flare and flash of Asian flavor in an otherwise Euro-centric pastry. Poppy Seed Lemongrass Scones
These scones normally use dried currants and orange zest. I find using whatever the hell you want seems fine. The original recipe comes from the Zuni Cafe cookbook. Thank god that one survived Unyielding.

3 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of sugar
4 teaspoons of baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup of cold butter
1 egg
1/2 cup of milk
1 tablespoon of poppyseeds
1 teaspoon of dried, shredded lemongrass

1) Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift together the dry ingredients and spices.

2) Cut the butter into the flour mixture. I just went at it with a pastry cutter thingy and then two forks. When the butter is in lumps the size of peas, you're set.

3) Whisk together the egg and milk, then add to the flour and butter. Mix with your hands (squishy fun!) until it's all amalgamated together.

4) Pat the dough into two balls. Place a ball onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a small disc, about 6 inches wide and 1 inch in height. Cut into 6 triangular pieces (much the way you would cut a pizza). Repeat for the other ball.

5) Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Allow to cool for a moment or two then serve warm or save for breakfast throughout the week.


  1. Sorry about your lemon and basil catastrophe. See how talented you are though-you turned it around. :)

    These look really good. I love having base recipes you can add anything to, It's so much fun.

    P.S. I have those same spice containers that you have the poppy seeds in.World Market?

  2. I love anything with poppy seeds - these scones are beautiful!

  3. mouth-watering scones.
    lemongrass and poppy seeds are my favorite, never thought of using them together.

  4. I assume you're supposed to add the lemongrass and poppy seed after you mix all the other ingredients together, correct?

  5. Made these last night substituting a small amount of lemon peel and a bit of lemon extract since I didn't have the lemongrass. Although initially the flavor was okay, there was an odd taste at the end of each bite which I can only compare to biting into a piece with too much baking soda. So tonight I made them again, sans peel and extract and with the dried lemongrass. Definitely better but still a little delayed odd taste left on the tongue. Is it the baking soda? I followed the recipe exactly; is it possible to make the scones with 3 tsp. not 4 and still get the same texture? Otherwise this recipe is a keeper and one I want to perfect.

  6. Annonymous - Ack! Yes! You are correct add the spice in with the flour and whatnot. As for the baking soda taste, I'm not sure. I've never encountered that problem before. I would give your idea a shot and see how it works.

  7. Hi again. To clarify, we're supposed to add the lemongrass and poppyseed after all other ingredients are thoroughly mixed together? OR should we add those two ingredients to the sifted dry ingredients and BEFORE we add the milk/egg mixture? That certainly would make it easier to evenly distribute the lemongrass and poppyseed...I think, and also avoid overworking/overmixing the dough because of trying to evenly distribute the two. Whew. I did make them again last night and although better, there was still a funny aftertaste...almost bitter or like the feeling of a strong mint or, as I said before, baking soda Again, I followed the recipe perfectly so I have no idea what's going on especially since you've never experienced this.


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