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Pumpkin scones

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I’ve never considered myself a technical genius or one to share the intimacies of my life with the rest of the world.  Don’t get me wrong, I love sharing my food blog and cooking journey with anyone who is happy to read about it, I am just challenged by the many and varied methods of communication these days.  Trying to get more efficient at updating my facebook page [2] is enough for me right now.  I don’t even have a twitter account.  I know what you’re thinking, sacriledge in this day and age but it is not my thing.  

I do find facebook great for keeping up with friends and for sharing links to my pages.  One of my friends recently posted on my wall that she would like a good pumpkin scone recipe and wondered if I had one.  To be honest, I have never made pumpkin scones in my life.  But never being one to let a challenge go by I invested some time into researching the humble pumpkin scone.  I found out that they were cemented into Australia’s culinary fare by Florence Bjelke-Petersen (or Lady Flo as she’s known), a Queensland senator during the late 80s and early 90s and wife of former Queensland premier Sir Joh.   During her time as a senator she became well-known for her pumpkin scones, her reputation for them rivalling that of her political career.  “I hope they remember me first for being a senator, who just happened to make pumpkin scones,” commented Florence.   

I also found that there are several different methods to make these little morsels.  My childhood memories of creating scones were about standing over a big bowl, rubbing the butter into the flour with my hands and I remember that they always seemed to turn out great.  So when some of the recipes I viewed told me to cream the butter and sugar I felt it was the wrong thing to do even if I loved the ingredients that they had used.  I finally decided that the only way to get what I wanted was to make it up myself by taking the pieces from each recipe that I liked. 

I hope you like these as much as my family did. 

pumpkin scones (recipe by Fiona at Food 4 Thought)
makes 12 scones
 

Ingredients
250g (8ozs) peeled jarradale or queensland blue pumpkin, cut into 2cm pieces
300g (2 cups) self-raising flour
2 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
good pinch of salt 
70g (5 tablespoons) cold butter, cut into 1 cm cubes
60ml (1/4cup/3 tablespoons) milk
1 egg
for brushing, extra milk
to serve, butter
 
Preparation
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6).  

Place pumpkin in a steamer over a saucepan of boiling water, cover and steam until tender (about 10 minutes), then transfer to an oven tray and bake for 10 minutes to dry out.  Cool, then mash with a fork.  You should have approximately 3/4 cup of mashed pumpkin.  Set aside. 

Into a large bowl, sift flour, sugar, salt and spices.  Add cubes of butter and use a fork or your hands to break/rub the butter into the flour to create a fine crumbly mixture.  In a small bowl, whisk the milk and egg together, add this to the cold pumpkin and mix to combine.  Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour the pumpkin mixture into it.  With a flat blade knife cut through the pumpkin and flour to combine.  Do not over work the mixture.  Once it is just combine, tip this onto a floured workbench and sprinkle with additional flour.  Using your hands, knead gently until the mixture comes together but is still a little sticky.  Flatten or roll out until approximately 2cm thick, using a 5.5cm-diameter cutter dipped in flour, cut rounds (without twisting cutter) from dough and transfer to a lightly greased or lined oven tray.  Collect scraps and press together, repeat the process.  Brush tops with milk and bake until golden and sound hollow when tapped (10-15 minutes). Serve hot or at room temperature with butter.

My tips/alterations:  *You can prepare the pumpkin the night before, cover and refrigerate until you make the scones.  *My Nanna and my Mum always told me the key to making light and soft scones was to rub the butter into the flour with your hands; don’t overwork the mixture and cut the wet and dry ingredients together with a flat blade knife.  *When you tip the mixture onto the bench you will need to have a bit of flour on hand as this is a sticky batter.  Just keep adding and kneading in the flour until you can just handle it.        

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ease: 9/10. Get the kids to help with rubbing the butter into the flour.
prep time: 15mins
cooking time: 30mins.  Including the cooking of the pumpkin
total: 45mins 

taste: 8/10.  We served these exactly as suggested, warm with butter.  They had a crunchy outside, soft, light and fluffy inside and great flavour.  The cinnamon and nutmeg work well with the pumpkin and there is just a hint of the pumpkin flavour but not enough to turn the kids off eating them.  An afternoon tea saw almost the whole batch demolished. 

I want to thank Maryam for asking for a good pumpkin scone recipe.  I think this is it. 🙂

would I make it again:  Definitely.

Some of the recipes that inspired me:

Pumpkin scones – Gourmet Traveller [4]

Pumpkin scone recipe – scones.org.uk [5]

Starbucks pumpkin scones – Meemos Kitchen [6]