Sunday, 15 June 2014

Pumpkin *sort of* Scones

Pumpkin scones are an Australian country tradition made famous by the Queensland Premier's Wife - Flo Bjelke-Peterson. Coincidentally the Bjelke-Peterson's sort of settled in Tasmania and for some time had some tea rooms in Sheffield in North West Tasmania the home of murals.

Pumpkin scones are a different method to your normal scone and far more forgiving for the novice baker. Firstly there's no rubbing in, you cream the butter and sugar. Secondly nearly all the moisture is provided by the pumpkin. This can cause confusion so I will explain as I go along.

A note on pumpkin. Proper pumpkin (Australian definition) is blue skinned. I prefer a Queensland Blue (which are enormous) or Jap pumpkin. I am sure you can use canned pumpkin, but I would think you would need to full amount of milk. In Australia butternut squash is referred to as pumpkin and that is what I used.

Just a note on flavour. Butternut squash is perfectly pleasant but it isn't pumpkiny enough. I would add some cinnamon or nutmeg next time to compliment the flavour.

250 grams prepared squash (directions below) - I cook a whole one then weigh the resulting puree*
30 grams butter
50 grams caster sugar (golden is my preference)
300 grams self raising flour (for additional rise add another teaspoon of baking powder)
milk (no more than 80 mls of milk and you may need a lot less)

1. First peel your pumpkin. I just use veggie peeler and do it whole. Cut the pumpkin in to largish dice place in a saucepan with a few tablespoons of water. Cook gently over medium heat, stirring, until soft. You may need to add more water but don't drown it. Alternatively microwave with a small amount of water according to your devices instructions (I don't own a microwave).

Puree or mash your pumpkin. I use a stick blender, you can use a food processor or old fashioned masher. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool. Once cold weigh it out.

2. Cream the butter and sugar, by hand, with a hand held mixer, or I cheat and use kitchen aid. Add flour and pumpkin and mix til combined, adding milk to form a sticky dough. I needed only a tablespoon or so. Reserve your left over milk.

3. Flour your board and tip out the dough, using well floured hands. Knead briefly to bring it together and press to about 5cm thick then cut out rounds. I use a well floured fluted cutter. The reason being is you won't twist it. Twisting gives an uneven rise. You will lose the flutes on baking but no matter! You can use a glass or straight edge cutter.

4. Place your scones on a floured tray or lined with baking paper, the scones should be touching. They will stick together as they bake but that's intentional, it gives you soft scones with a good rise. If you space out they will dome and not be as easy to split.

5. Brush the scones with milk, and bake for approximately 15 minutes. My oven isn't even so I turn at 7 minutes.

6. Remove from oven and transfer to a tray to cool.

I got a bakers dozen out of this mixture 13 scones.

Serve them as desired! You can serve them the traditional way with jam and cream, or just with butter, or low fat philadelphia. They go well with soup too, the sugar doesn't over power at all.

I made these on the evening of England's first world cup match against Italy, my sister in law said should have done the cream as a cross, it didn't even cross my mind! So do that if making them for the next England game.

*Leftover squash - your average squash will be around 500 grammes. The left over puree will freeze and make another batch. You can use it for baby food of course should you have one. It will also go into soup, stews or mix with mashed potato for fish pie or shepherd's pie topping.

I hope you enjoy this traditionally Australian recipe.

No comments:

Post a Comment