PUMPKIN SCONES

It may seem a little early to be thinking of pumpkins but rest assured these autumnal coloured scones are made with the first of the season gourmet variety – bushfire or buttercup are exceptional!

Makes 12 scones

2 cups of flour

1/3 cup brown sugar

½ tsp ground ginger

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

115g butter, cold and cut into small pieces

1/3 cup raisins or sultanas

120 ml buttermilk (approx)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

½ cup cooked, puree pumpkin

Method

To cook pumpkin – I like to steam pumpkin when using in mixtures like this as it retains it beautiful colour and doesn’t absorb to much liquid. If using bushfire pumpkins you can leave the skin on as it is thin and edible otherwise carefully remove with a sharp knife.  Remove the seeds and discard cut the flesh into even sized cubes and place in your steamer over simmering water until the pumpkin is very tender (about 10 minutes).  Remove and drain off any excess liquid.  You can either mash the pumpkin for a more coarse texture or puree it in a food processor for a finer texture if desired.

Preheat the oven 180C

In a large bowl sieve the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, spices and salt together.  Add the cold butter and work it through the flour with your finger-tips until you get a coarse bread crumb texture.  Add the sugar and raisins and stir to combine.  Now add the cooled pumpkin puree and mix through the mixture using a bread and butter knife.  Add ½ the amount of buttermilk as this will vary depending on the consistency of your pumpkin puree to the mixture.  Continue mixing until it just starts to stick together.  Remove the knife and now get your hands in there. Sprinkle a little flour on your work bench and tip out the slightly sticky dough.

The most important tip on making scones is that you do not overwork the dough! Gently bring together the dough so it forms a smoothish ball and flatten out with your hands until you get a rectangle shape 15cm by 15cm, cut into about 12 squares and place onto a baking tray.

Bake for 20 minutes in preheated oven or until they have risen and gone a wonderful golden, pumpkin colour.

Cool slightly and enjoy!!!