As a Halloween baby, my husband is a fan of basically anything pumpkin-related. We have pumpkin or jack o’ lantern-themed napkins, towels, glasses, a trivet…. So when a pumpkin was included with our CSA box, he was perfectly content to use it as a centerpiece for a week or two.
Eventually I had to figure out a use for it. I quartered it, scooped out the seeds and slime, and roasted it. So far we have used it for pumpkin tacos, pumpkin breakfast burritos, a pumpkin-and-sage pasta dish, and pumpkin puree which went into both cookies and scones.
This was my first attempt at making scones. Miraculously these turned out despite my best efforts to mess them up.
First, I ran out of all-purpose flour. I had 3/4 of the full amount, so instead of doing all that math, I just substituted the difference in equal parts bread and whole wheat flour. Next, I didn’t actually have buttermilk or milk, so I used yogurt. Then my chilled butter was seriously cold, because all three pounds of butter in the apartment were in the freezer. Also, since I made the pumpkin puree at home, it was bit wetter than the canned stuff, so my dough was quite sticky.
I was sort of in a hurry since I was trying to send them to work with the hubby, so I tossed it all together and crossed my fingers. Then about five minutes after I put them in the oven, I realized that I had forgotten the egg wash. Gah. They came out of the oven five minutes after he left for work. Sigh.
After they had cooled, I decided to try one. That’s when I realized that I don’t even know what scones are supposed to taste like to know if they had actually worked. They tasted good, I just had no idea if that was the right texture or not!
A friend assured me that they were supposed to be somewhat biscuit-like, and I think they were. Nevertheless, I will give you the actual recipe, not the ingredients I cobbled together. Just know that they’re still tasty, even if not perfect! Give them a try and tell me if they are scone-like.
Adapted from Joy of Baking
Makes 8 scones
Note: I left out the raisins and pecans and forgot the egg wash.
2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour
1/3 cup (72 grams) light or dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup (50 grams) raisins
1/4 cup (30 grams) toasted and chopped pecans (optional)
1/3 – 1/2 cup (80 – 120 ml) buttermilk
1/2 cup fresh or canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling!)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
(optional) turbinado sugar for sprinkling
1.) Preheat oven to 400F with rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place that baking sheet on top of a second one to prevent the bottoms of the scones from over-browning.
2.) Combine flour, brown sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. In a separate bowl, stir together buttermilk, pumpkin puree, and vanilla until combined.
3.) Mix raisins and pecans (if using) in to flour mixture. Add the bowl of wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir just until dough comes together. Over-mixing will result in dense scones.
4.) Transfer dough to a lightly-floured surface and knead quickly and gently 4-5 times. Form dough into a circle approximately 7 inches across and 1.5 inches thick. Cut the circle in half, then cut each half into 4 wedges for a total of 8 scones.
5.) Place scones of parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake at 400F about 20 minutes until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a scone comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
6.) If desired, mix together 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon water and a 1/2 teaspoon of milk. Adjust powdered sugar or milk until glaze is thick but pourable. Drizzle over scones before serving.