I'm a sucker for pumpkins. If it wasn't for their humungous size, and my inability to store them properly after slashing them open, I would be making something with pumpkin every week. That's why I love butternut squashes so much: they are usually small enough that I can easily use them up even in my small household of two. In addition, they have less water content, more flavour, and a creamy texture that makes them versatile for both savoury and sweet dishes and pastries. The following recipe is adapted from The Joy of Baking pumpkin scones recipe (which is really good as well!).
2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup cornmeal (fine, not grits!)
2 Tbs light brown sugar
1/2 Tbs sage leaves, dried and rubbed (or 1 Tbs or fresh, chopped sage leaves)
1/4 tsp ground dry ginger
1/8 tsp Nutmeg, grated
1/4 tsp Allspice, ground
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 - 1/2 cup (80 - 120 ml) buttermilk
1/2 cup (120 ml) cooked and pureed butternut squash
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk or cream
- Preheat oven to 400F (200 C)
- Blend dry ingredients together
- Cut butter into dry ingredients
- Whisk the eggs and mix with the butternut squash and buttermilk
- Add to the dry ingredients and stir
- Knead briefly, just to form a soft, pliable dough. It should be soft but not too sticky (add flour if necessary)
- On a lightly floured surface, pat down or toll to about 4cm thick. Cut with a medium sized cookie cutter. It helps to dip the cookie cutter in flour in between scone-shaping.
- Place the cut out scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat sheet.
- Brush with egg and milk mixture. Sprinkle with allspice, some sugar and a hint of nutmeg.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick insterted in the middle comes out clean.
These scones are quite versatile in how they can be enjoyed - if you want them for an afternoon tea with other sweets, serve with Devonshire cream and a peach or apricot jam, orange marmalade or light honey.
For dinner or lunchtime, they make an excellent accompaniment for a hearty soup; or as a snack of their own with a slice of sharp cheese.