Saturday, January 26, 2013

Lots of Pumpkin! Scones, soup & curry...

Over here in usually sunny Australia, we're celebrating Australia Day (January 26th) with a long weekend. Where I am, we've been seeing rain... and LOTS of it! Thankfully, I am not at risk of being affected by immediate flood danger (though there are many in my state who have been affected by flooding, tornadoes... you name it!). But we have been spending most of our time this weekend cooped up inside the house.

What better way to take advantage of forced time indoors than cooking up a storm (no pun intended)? I managed to score a whole Queensland Blue pumpkin for 39c per kilogram yesterday morning, so everything has involved pumpkin! For lunch today, it was a homestyle chunky pumpkin soup, followed by pumpkin scones. Tomorrow I'll try my hand at a pumpkin Indian-style curry. My pumpkin soup turned out beautifully, with a richer flavour from roasting the pumpkin, hints of chili, garam masala, a few fennel seeds...

Today I'm sharing a tried and true very famous pumpkin scone recipe by Lady Flo Bjelke-Peterson. You can find the original recipe on the ABC website here, but I made a double batch so I'll post how I made these delicious scones.


Prepare your pumpkin. I diced a fair amount of my pumpkin and boiled in plain water until soft and mushy, then mashed. I set aside 2 cups of mashed pumpkin.

I made a double batch of scones (hence why I saved 2 cups of the mashed pumpkin), so next I put 2 tbsp of butter, about 1/4 tsp of salt, and 1 cup of raw sugar into my mixer and beat until well combined. 

I've added two eggs, and beat in well.

Now's the time to add the pumpkin!

Beat in the pumpkin well - your mixture will be pretty sloppy at this point.

Add your flour - I'd recommend adding only a little at a time and mixing on a low speed. I added 4 cups of self-raising flour (as per a double batch), but found my dough to still be far too moist and sticky. I would estimate that I added another cup and a half of flour before I was happy with the consistency - I stopped adding flour when my dough was still a little stickier than a normal bread dough.

Turn your dough out onto a surface covered lightly with flour and knead. Cut out your scones and shape to the size you want. Personally, I've always used a drinking glass to cut my scones as this was how my mother taught me as a child. 

Place your scones closely together on a baking tray sprinkled with flour (this prevents the scones from sticking) and bake for about 15 minutes in a hot oven. I had my oven set to 225 degrees Celsius (as recommended on the original recipe, and as I have done many times before), but in my new oven this was a little hot. If you think your oven runs hot like mine, I'd recommend cutting down to perhaps 190 degrees Celsius. 

Serve with jam and dollop cream while still warm from the oven. Enjoy!

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