Roasted Pumpkin Scones
It's pumpkin season, so I picked up some pie pumpkins (the ones you cook, not the ones you carve) from the farmers market the other day and roasted them for some fall recipes that I've been working on. Roasting pumpkins is, well, as easy as pie. You simply split the pumpkin in half from top to bottom, scoop out the seeds, rub the inside with a little bit of vegetable oil, then place each half face down on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake in a preheated 450°F oven for about 30 minutes or until tender, then cool and scoop out the flesh, which can be refrigerated for one week and frozen for up to six months.
It's true that you can buy canned pumpkin purée — and that's perfectly fine — but there's a really nice flavor that comes from roasting the pumpkin, so I think it's worth the extra step and I hope you'll give it a try!
These pumpkin scones are a little different from my traditional scone recipe; people often wonder what's the difference between scones and biscuits, and the main difference is that scones generally have eggs added to the dough, giving them a rich, cake-y texture. However, the mashed pumpkin is so moist that eggs aren't needed, and the bits of candied ginger adds little sweet-spicy pockets of flavor in every bite. You don't even need butter or jam on these beauties!
2.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut up
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup mashed roasted pumpkin (can substitute canned pumpkin)
1/2 cup milk (regular or non-dairy; almond milk adds a nice flavor with the pumpkin)
1/2 cup diced candied ginger
for the orange glaze (optional):
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and ground ginger. Add the butter and rub into the flour mixture with your fingers until crumbly. Add the sugar and toss to mix. Stir in the pumpkin with a fork and then add the milk a little at a time until the mixture comes together into a soft dough (add more or less as necessary). Scoop out onto a lightly floured surface and add the candied ginger, kneading lightly until combined.
Cut the dough in half and form each half into a ball. Pat or roll each half out into a rectangle, about one inch thick, and, using a round biscuit cutter, cut out 3-inch circles, then re-roll the scraps to cut out additional circles. Alternatively, you can roll each half into a six-inch circle and divide into wedges.
Place scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 12 minutes or until lightly golden-brown on top. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
If you want to add an orange glaze to the scones, simply whisk together the confectioner's sugar and orange juice until smooth (add more confectioner's sugar if the mixture is too thin; the consistency should be similar to honey), then dip the top of each scone into the glaze and set the scone, right side up, back onto the wire rack while the glaze sets. They taste best when served immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.
I love adding a special touch when presenting food - like repurposing a cheese board for other things....like scones!