Thursday, March 3, 2016

Pumpkin Harvest Scones

Makes 12 small scones
Recipe from King Arthur Flour

Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

These are just scrumptious and perfect with a hot cup of tea or coffee.  Serve them up for a special breakfast.

2 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
½ cup cold butter
1 cup minced crystallized ginger, cinnamon chips, or chocolate chips
2/3 cup canned pumpkin**
2 large eggs
Coarse white sparkling sugar, for topping

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices.
Work in the butter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly; it's OK for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated.
Stir in the ginger and/or chips, if you're using them.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and eggs till smooth.
Add the pumpkin/egg to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together.
Line a baking sheet with parchment; if you don't have parchment, just use it without greasing it. Sprinkle a bit of flour atop the parchment or pan.
Scrape the dough onto the floured parchment or pan, and divide it in half. Round each half into a 5" circle (if you haven't incorporated any add-ins); or a 6" circle (if you've added 2 cups of fruit, nuts, etc.). The circles should be about ¾" thick.
Brush each circle with milk, and sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar or cinnamon sugar, if desired.
Using a knife or bench knife that you've run under cold water, slice each circle into 6 wedges.
Carefully pull the wedges away from the center to separate them just a bit; there should be about ½ " space between them, at their outer edges.
For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F.
Bake the scones for 22 to 25 minutes, or until they're golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean, with no wet crumbs. If you pull one of the scones away from the others, the edges should look baked through, not wet or doughy.
Remove the scones from the oven, and serve warm. Wrap any leftovers airtight, and store at room temperature. Reheat very briefly in the microwave, if desired.
**TIP:  Wondering what to do with the rest of the canned pumpkin? Scoop onto plastic wrap or into a small container, and freeze. It'll be ready and waiting next time you want to make these scones. If you're really serious about using your ingredients most effectively, use a scant 2/3 cup pumpkin (a scant 5 ¼ ounces), rather than the full 2/3 cup called for. You'll find a typical 15 ½ can of pumpkin will then be enough for three batches of scones.  
You might even use the leftover pumpkin to make delicious Pumpkin Pie Smoothies!

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