Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pumpkin Scones

       My sister just posted a recipe for some really tasty Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts, and here I am again with another  pumpkin recipe. Though I've heard that some people get irritated by the abundance of pumpkin-related-everything during the fall season, deep down I'm sure they secretly love everyone else's obsession. So here I am to indulge said obsession and offer a recipe for Pumpkin Scones! Scones actually originated in Scotland in the early sixteenth century, but now have become most associated with England--where they are pronounced "scawns" as in "gone." According to, the ritual of having scones during afternoon tea began when Anna, the Duchess of Bedford (1788-1861), had servants bring her various teas and sweet breads, among which included scones. She loved them so much that she ordered them every afternoon, thus influencing the afternoon tea tradition as well as a new harboring for the love of scones.
       What makes scones different from other biscuits or quick breads is that the leavening comes from baking powder and not yeast. (Originally they were not made with baking powder because it wasn't widely available, and scones were flat. Once baking powder was widespread, it quickly became a key ingredient in scones.) The love for scones has now spread globally and each country imparts its own special variations--sweet and savory. Today, I offer you a sweet version. But do not be deceived, these are not sweet as a cookie would be. Instead, think of a biscuit which has a slight sweetness to it--that is what these particular scones are like--perfect for accompanying a cuppa. I should also note that the pumpkin flavor in this recipe is not overwhelming; rather, I would describe it more so as a slight aftertaste, noticeable after the initial wave of spices retreat. At least that is how they are when fresh. Afer sitting for a while, the pumpkin flavor seems to settle in more.


Pumpkin Scones
recipe from

  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin (about a 1/3 of a can, if you were wondering)
  • 2 large eggs
  • milk (for brushing)
  • extra sugar and cinnamon (for sprinkling)

--In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.

*May I just note that even though I harped on the historical importance of baking powder in scones I still forgot to use it! So your scones may turn out a little fluffier than what I have pictured. Just know that they still taste good without it.* =)

--In a different, smaller bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and eggs until smooth.

--Cut up the cold butter into cubes and cut them into the dry ingredients (your large bowl) with a pastry cutter until all the butter pieces are approximately pea sized or so.

--Add the wet ingredients (small bowl) to the dry ingredients (large bowl) and stir them together as best you can. Everything should be moistened and able to hold together; I used my hands towards the end.

--Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Separate the dough into two parts, round them into flat disks (about 5 inches diameter, 3/4 inches thick), and place them on sheet.

--Brush each disk with milk and then sprinkle some sugar (coarse is best if you have any; I didn't) and some cinnamon (not too much otherwise it will easily burn).

--With a cold knife, slice each disk as you would a pizza, and then pull out the wedges from each other, about 1/2 inch apart on each side.

--Now transfer the scones to the freezer for about 30 minutes to firm up the butter. This allows for the best texture and highest rise from the scones. (A fridge works fine as well, just let them chill longer.)

--Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F.

--After chilling, bake the scones for 22 to 25 minutes, or until they're golden brown. An inserted toothpick should come out completely clean. The edges of the scones shouldn't look doughy.
--Preferably serve scones warm as this is when they taste the best, but they taste good cooled as well. Store leftovers in an airtight container.

Happy Baking!

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