Pumpkin Pie may be the most
popular pumpkin dessert, but the pumpkin's mild and sweet earthy
flavor, make it ideal in so many other desserts. Take these Pumpkin
Scones. Like a Pumpkin Pie they combine the flavor of pumpkin with its
complementary spices (ground cinnamon and ginger). Buttermilk
is used to bind all the dry ingredients together which gives the scones a bread-like
texture and also helps to offset the dense
texture of the pumpkin. These scones are baked at a higher than normal oven
temperature which gives them a wonderfully crisp outside crust.
has a thick creamy texture with a rich and tangy buttery taste that makes
baked goods tender. It is commercially made by adding a bacteria to whole,
skim, or low fat milk. However, you can make a good substitute for
commercial buttermilk. Add 1/2 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar,
cider vinegar, or lemon juice to 1/2 cup (120 ml/grams) of milk. Let stand
at room temperature about 10 minutes before using.
Just a side
note. Have you ever wondered why sometimes your scone dough is too sticky
or maybe too dry? The cause of this is probably your flour. Flour absorbs
different amounts of liquid depending on the weather (how humid) or its
freshness. So when adding the buttermilk, start with 1/3 cup (80 ml/grams)
and mix the dough. And then, if needed, add more buttermilk.
can use either homemade or store bought pumpkin puree in these scones.
Just make sure you do not buy the pumpkin puree which has
the spices added to it. To make your own puree, use the smaller pumpkin
varieties like Sugar Pie, Baby Bear or Cheese Pumpkin (approximately 5-7
lbs., 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 kg.). To begin, first cut the pumpkin in half
lengthwise, remove all the seeds and stringy fibers, and then place cut-side
down on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for
approximately 45 minutes to 1 1/4 hours (depending on size) or until easily
pierced with a knife. Let cool, then scoop out the pulp and puree in your
food processor until smooth. You do need to extract all the liquid, so
strain the pumpkin through a cheesecloth lined strainer and then cool the
puree before using.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and place the oven rack in
the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl,
whisk together the flour, sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and
salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a
pastry blender or two
knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Stir in the chocolate chips.
In a separate
bowl, mix together 1/3 cup (80 ml) buttermilk, the pumpkin puree, and vanilla.
Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Mix just until the dough comes
together. Add more buttermilk if needed. Do not over mix.
Transfer to a lightly floured surface and
dough gently four or five times and then pat the dough into a 7 inch (18 cm) circle. Cut the circle in half, then cut each half into 4
pie-shaped wedges (triangles). Place the scones on the baking sheet. Using a
pastry brush, brush the tops of the scones with a little cream or milk. Sprinkle
each scone with raw pumpkin seeds if you like.
Place the baking
sheet inside another baking sheet to prevent the bottoms of the scones from over
browning. Bake for about
20 minutes or until
golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer to
a wire rack to cool.
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