During the month of November our no-food-waste team is focusing on cooking with pumpkin. One reason is that it is in season, plentiful and on every farm stand. The other reason is that is often an item purchased for carving as a Halloween prop and later discarded without being used as a food source. One roasted pumpkin can equal a whole week of meals for an entire family which is why it pains us to see discarded jack-o-lanterns after Halloween.
Not only is pumpkin a budget enhancer but as a a great source of fiber and vitamins but it’s a natural antioxidant for cancer prevention and also helps to regulate blood pressure and manage weight. According to Medical News Today, pumpkin is also high in iron, zinc and vitamin C and is low in calories!
Last week we cut, cleaned and roasted over 30 pumpkins for puree for our “Pumpkin Project” participants and we spent the next few days cooking with it. As a lover of tea time and breakfast, I chose these very easy and delicious scones that are perfect on their own or slathered with maple butter or regular butter.
You don’t need much for this recipe other than a half cup of roasted and puréed pumpkin, flour with sugar, butter, pumpkin spices, baking powder and baking soda and a single egg to make a baker’s dozen of perfect scones.
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and diced into 1/2-inch pieces (substitute with vegetable shortening for vegan)
- 1/2 cup of homemade pumpkin puree, chilled
- 3 1/2 Tbsp buttermilk* or half and half
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp half and half or heavy cream for brushing the scones prior to baking
Preheat oven to 400 F Make sure your oven rack is in the middle .
Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
In a large bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and all of the spices. Whisk until fully combined. Add the chopped butter to the flour mixture and combine it with a pastry cutter or two knives until the mixture comes together in pea-sized crumbs. Set aside.
In another bowl whisk together your wet ingredients: pumpkin, buttermilk, egg, vanilla and honey. Once smooth add in light-brown sugar , granulated sugar and combine. Drizzle this mixture over your flour and mix together with your lightly floured hands or a wooden spoon until your dough starts to come together. It should be firm like play dough.
At this time you can flour a clean dry surface and transfer your dough there. Knead the dough gently , two or three times, then pat the dough out so its about 2 inches thick.
Using a round biscuit or cookie cutter to press out the rounds and place them on your prepared baking sheets. You can also form two disks and cut the scones into triangles for a different shape. Once the scones are placed (do not crowd the pan), use a pastry brush to lightly brush your scones with half and half and sprinkle with your toasted pumpkin seeds or light-brown sugar. Place on the middle rack of your oven and bake for 20 minutes until they are a golden brown and a toothpick poked into the middle comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool and serve warm or at room temperature. They are best eaten the same day but also good if stored in a cookie jar. For some reason they don’t store well in ziplock bags as it affects the texture.
Have these for breakfast, afternoon tea or dessert and share with friends.
*Don’t have buttermilk on hand, no worries; substitute 3 1/2 Tbsp buttermilk for a scant 3 1/2 Tbsp milk and 1/4 tsp lemon juice or white vinegar. Pour 1/4 tsp of lemon juice (or vinegar) into a liquid measuring cup. Then add your milk. Stir. The milk will thicken and look a little… chunky or curdled. This is a good thing, and exactly what we want !