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Pumpkin Scones Recipe & Video

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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). 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.

Buttermilk has 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.

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, start with 1/3 cup (80 ml/grams) and mix the dough. And then, if needed, add more buttermilk.

Finally, you can use either homemade or store bought pumpkin puree in these scones. Just make sure you do not buy the pumpkin puree which has the spices added to it. To make your own puree, use 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. Let cool, then scoop out the pulp and puree in your 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.

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Pumpkin Scones: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Stir in the chocolate chips.

In a separate bowl, mix together 1/3 cup (80 ml) buttermilk, the pumpkin puree, and vanilla. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together. Add more buttermilk if needed. Do not over mix.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times and then pat the dough into a 7 inch (18 cm) circle. Cut the circle in half, then cut each half into 4 pie-shaped wedges (triangles). Place the scones on the baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the scones with a little cream or milk. Sprinkle each scone with raw pumpkin seeds if you like.

Place the baking sheet inside another baking sheet to prevent the bottoms of the scones from over browning. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.  

Makes 8 scones.

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Pumpkin Scones:

2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour

1/2 cup (100 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon (3 grams) baking powder

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking soda

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) salt

1/2 cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

2/3 cup (115 grams) semi sweet or milk chocolate chips

1/3 - 1/2 cup (80 - 120 ml/grams) cold buttermilk

1/2 cup (120 grams) fresh or canned pure pumpkin puree (no spices or sugar added)

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract

Raw Pumpkin Seeds (optional)

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