PUMPKIN PECAN SCONES

Not many things will impress your family or guests more than warm-from-the-oven scones for breakfast or brunch.  People are under the impression they’re difficult to make but they couldn’t be any easier and you don’t need any special pans. These are not the dry scones you may have had at the airport.  At market we always offered raspberry and sometimes blueberry or other varieties, but in fall this was in the display.  I like them best with the addition of toasted pecans. You can easily change that to other nuts, currants or raisins, even Craisins.  Toast nuts first to pump up the flavor.  Most nuts can be toasted in a 400°F oven for 6-8 minutes, or in a heavy pan on the stovetop.  Watch carefully since they burn easily and there’s no salvaging them then. If you’re doing it on top of the stove stir frequently.  As soon as you can smell them, they’re done. Cinnamon and ginger lend a subtle flavor.  You can also add a touch of nutmeg, or replace all of the spices with pre-mixed pumpkin pie spice.  A food processor is the easiest way to mix the butter and dry ingredients but your hands will work too.  Rub the butter pieces into the dry ingredients by rubbing it between your fingers till the texture resembles sand and pieces of butter are pea-sized or smaller. These will keep for a day or so in a tightly covered container, or freeze immediately after baking and cooling.

– Joan, 2 November 2015

PUMPKIN PECAN SCONES

Makes 8 scones

2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
½ cup (92 grams) sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
4 Tablespoons (56 grams) cold butter, cut into pieces
1 egg
1/3 cup (75 grams) canned plain pumpkin purée
½ cup (120 grams) plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
½ cup (55 grams) pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped, optional

glaze and raw or decorative sugar, optional

  1.  Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl or food processor.  Add butter and process till texture appears sandy and butter pieces are small.  If using nuts or dried fruit, add it now.
  3. Whisk together egg, pumpkin purée, and yogurt (or sour cream).  Add to dry ingredients and stir together till all the dry ingredients are absorbed.  Don’t use the food processor for this step.  It’s too easy to overmix, which makes scones tough. Gluten development is not the goal here.
  4. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray.  Divide dough into two pieces.  Shape each piece into a circle about 5″ across and 1″ thick, then cut each circle into quarters. Push the quarters apart slightly.
  5. Decorative or raw sugar can be sprinkled on now if desired.  I like to glaze them after baking and put a bit of sparkly sugar on top of the glaze.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Cool a few minutes before glazing, but do serve them while still slightly warm.  There will probably be people looking over your shoulder waiting for a go-ahead if they’ve gotten a whiff from your kitchen!

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