It's International Scone Week 2022, where bloggers from all around the world unite to bake scones and share recipes through their blog posts. I've decided to bake some delicious and golden Pumpkin Scones for this event.
Thanks to Tandy from Lavender and Lime who is hosting #ISW2022 on her food blog. This is a wonderful reason to get stuck into some serious baking, and it's given me the incentive to bake some Pumpkin Scones, 3 dozen of them in fact, yes it's been a baking frenzy here, and Mr. HRK is loving it. They also freeze very well. Once you are organised, these scones are super fast to make and bake. This morning as one batch was baking, I made a second batch, and they were ready to place in the oven just as the first batch was cooked.
I've chosen to make an iconic Queensland recipe, Pumpkin scones. I'm calling it a Queensland institution rather than an Australian one as Lady Florence Bjelke-Petersen is best known for her Pumpkin Scone recipe. Even though she was the wife of a former Queensland Premier, Sir Joe, and they were prominent and quite controversial political figures, her scones are her true legacy. Regardless of any particular political persuasion, most women and men who bake scones often, know of her recipe, and here it is. I've been meaning to make these scones for years.
Before you start baking pumpkin scones, don your apron, and organise your ingredients, because my friends it can be somewhat of a fun flour fest in the kitchen during scone baking, particularly pumpkin scones because it is a moister dough. Flour needs to be spread over your kitchen bench or baking sheet, your baking tray needs to be spread with flour, and your hands need to be dusted with flour to make handling the scone dough easier. I even dipped my scone cutter in flour each time. Unlike some other scone mixtures, this one can be a little sticky, but still very manageable. I used a Jap pumpkin (Kent variety) for my scones. We bought a very large one which cost $11.00, from the farmer's truck on the weekend, but after three batches of scones, I am getting my money's worth out of this richly coloured, and flavoursome pumpkin. It's a beauty. Some people swear by using a Queensland Blue variety, but the Kent is much more available here where I live and we love to eat it baked, mashed, and in a variety of ways really.
Before I started these scones I did some food research, as I always do, and compared different pumpkin scone making methods, including talking to a couple of friends, and I am confident that this recipe is the best I have found. The main thing is to ensure a minimum of liquid with your steamed pumpkin, and place it in a colander while it is cooling to allow all the liquid to drain. Iconic Australian cook, Stephanie Alexander suggests steaming the pumpkin until soft, then drying it off in the oven and then pureeing it. I haven't actually dried it in the oven, and I'm not using her recipe, even though it's very similar, however that tip is worth a try.
Before starting your scones, Lady Flo's words can guide you through the process:
"the most important piece of advice I always give to people attempting to make scones is that you must treat them with tender loving care. Don't knead them, instead press them lightly with your fingertips. This helps your scones to turn out nice and light."
Turn on your oven to 240 deg. C. scones need a very hot oven.
1 cup mashed pumpkin (cold)
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 beaten egg
2 cups self-raising flour
Beat together the butter, sugar, and salt with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. This won't be creamy.
Add the beaten egg, then the pumpkin and mix in.
Stir in the flour by hand until just mixed.
Turn the dough onto a very well floured bench, and pat gently with floured hands into a square shape, which is 3 cm thick. This square will measure about 15 cm by 15 cm., or even 16 cm.
Cut into rounds with your scone cutter. Scone cutters can vary from 5 cm to 7 cm, mine is 6 cm.
Place scones individually on a well floured tray.
Place the tray on the top shelf of a very hot oven (240 deg C - 250 deg C.) for 15-20 minutes
Remove from the oven, allow to cool on a cooling rack and serve with butter, or jam and thick whipped cream.
This is my very first batch made with a smaller 5 cm scone cutter as an experiment. These would be perfect for little folk for after school home baked snacks, and bigger folk who are trying not too eat too many, still very delicious.
- If the mixture seems dry, you may need to add 2 tablespoons of milk gradually, however with a wet mixture, just add an extra tablespoon of SR flour at a time until it is manageable. I added one extra tablespoon of SR flour to mine each to each batch because the pumpkin is very rich.
- The pumpkin needs to be cold and straight out of the frig when you start using it.
- The egg can be cold, not room temperature
- The secret is to work quickly when making scones
- A minimum of handling of the scone dough gives the best results
- 240 deg. C is the perfect temperature in my oven for baking scones, for 15 minutes
- I use my small electric mixer and beaters to mix the butter, sugar and salt together in a medium size bowl rather than my Kitchen Aid. This gives the best result as the mixture isn't large.
- About 250 g - 300 g of pumpkin will give you 1 cup of mashed pumpkin depending on the type of pumpkin