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Ghemere & Scones

Homegrown Tastes South Africa S2 Episode 9: Ghemere & Scones

Serves 4

Ghemere & Scones


For Ghemere:

  • 250g Brown sugar
  • 4 cups water + 4 cups sparkling water
  • 3 tsp Ground ginger
  • 90g Fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 3 stalks Fresh Lemon grass, crushed & chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Tartaric acid
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartare
  • Pineapple juice, to taste
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice, optional

For Scones:

  • 400g flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 100g cold butter, grated
  • 70g castor sugar
  • 310 ml buttermilk or inkomasi
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg beaten, for an egg wash
  • Sugar to sprinkle on top before baking


  1. For the Ghemere, combine the sugar and 1/2 cup water in a pot stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Add the ginger, lemongrass, tartaric acid, cream of tartare & simmer until the mixture thickens and is a slight golden colour. Add the remaining water & pineapple juice and store in a 2L bottle. You can let this ferment for 2 days by storing it in a warm place. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and ice.
  2. For the scones, heat the oven to 200 C & prepare an oven tray with spray and cook. Put the flour, salt and butter into a bowl and rub the butter into the flour with your fingers
  3. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the buttermilk or inkomasi. Use a butter knife to combine the ingredients to form a dough.
  4. Tip onto a floured surface and bring the dough together. Roll the dough out until it is about 5 cm thick cut into rounds with a cookie cutter put the scones onto the tray. Brush the scones with egg wash and sprinkle with a bit of sugar then bake for 10-15 minutes pr until golden brown and well risen.


  • Ghemere is a South African ginger beer.
  • The pineapple juice allows the Ghemere to ferment; if you do this it becomes slightly alcoholic depending on how long you ferment it for.
  • You can leave out the fermentation.
  • When preparing scones, it’s crucial to use cold butter. It’s important not to over mix the dough but combine it well enough that the dough is smooth and the ingredients are incorporated effectively.
  • You can cut your scones into triangles using a knife if you don’t have cookie cutters.
  • It is usually a family member that has the best & most treasured recipe.