2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour
1/3 cup (70 grams) light or dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup (50 grams) raisins
1/4 cup (30 grams) toasted and chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1/3 - 1/2 cup (80 - 120 ml) buttermilk
1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh or canned pure pumpkin (if using canned pumpkin make sure there are no spices or sugar added)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk or cream
Pumpkin Scones: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and place 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 small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Stir in the raisins and pecans, if using. In a separate bowl mix together the buttermilk, pumpkin puree and vanilla and then add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together. 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 circle that is about 7 inches (18 cm) round and about 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) thick. Cut this circle in half, then cut each half into 4 pie-shaped wedges (triangles). Place the scones on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash.
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.
Pumpkin Pie may be the most popular pumpkin dessert, but the pumpkin's mild and sweet, almost earthy flavor, make it ideal in many types of quick breads, including these Pumpkin Scones. Pumpkin Scones are not overly sweet and are full of the flavors of pumpkin and its complementary spices (ground cinnamon and ginger). They are also flavored with raisins and nuts and buttermilk, instead of cream, is used to bind all the dry ingredients together. I really like how buttermilk has the ability to make a light and bread-like scone that offsets the dense texture of the pumpkin. These scones are baked at a higher than normal oven temperature which gives them a crisp outside crust. Very nice plain or with cream cheese.
As I mentioned above, 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. You can, however, simply make your own by adding 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar, cider vinegar, or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk. Let stand 5 to 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 your flour. Flour absorbs different amounts of liquid depending on the weather (how humid) or its freshness. So if you find your dough a little too sticky or dry, try adding a little more flour or liquid.