Pumpkin Pie may be the most
popular pumpkin dessert, but the pumpkin's mild and sweet earthy
flavor, make it ideal in so many other desserts. Take these Pumpkin
Scones. Like a pumpkin pie they combine the flavor of pumpkin with its
complementary spices (ground cinnamon and ginger). Yet I couldn't resist
adding some dark chocolate chips and chunks of figs to the dough. Buttermilk
is used to bind all the dry ingredients together which gives the scones a bread-like
texture and also helps to offset the dense
texture of the pumpkin. These scones are baked at a higher than normal oven
temperature which gives them a wonderfully crisp outside crust.
a thick creamy texture with a rich and tangy buttery taste that makes
baked goods tender. It is commercially made by adding a
bacteria to whole, skim, or low fat milk. However, you can make a
good substitute for commercial buttermilk. Add 1/2 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar, cider vinegar, or
lemon juice to 1/2 cup (120 ml/grams) of milk. Let stand at room
temperature about 10 minutes before using.
Another convenient option is to use a commercially made dry buttermilk
powder that is sold in either canisters or bags.
Just a side
note. Have you ever wondered why sometimes your scone dough is too sticky
or maybe too dry? The cause of this is probably your flour. Flour absorbs
different amounts of liquid depending on the weather (how humid) or its
freshness. So when adding the buttermilk, don't add it all at once. Hold
back a little. Mix the dough and then, if needed, add more buttermilk.
we really do not have to make our own pumpkin puree as
there are excellent brands of canned pure pumpkin on the market today. Just
make sure you do not buy the pumpkin which already has the spices added to
it. That being said, if you have the time and are so inclined, you can make
your own puree using the smaller pumpkin varieties like Sugar Pie, Baby Bear
or Cheese Pumpkin (approximately 5-7 lbs., 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 kg.). To begin,
first cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise, remove all the seeds and stringy
fibers, and then place cut-side down on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350
degrees F (180 degrees C) for approximately 45 minutes to 1 1/4 hours
(depending on size) or until easily pierced with a knife. Scoop out the pulp
and puree in a food processor until smooth. You do need to extract all the
liquid, so strain the pumpkin through a cheesecloth lined strainer and then
cool the puree before using.