Pumpkin Scones..

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P1280642Pumpkin scones (13)

Halloween – a tradition with strong Irish roots – is a big deal in Ireland. In fact, there’s a widely-held belief that it actually started in Ireland. If you’re interested in the ancient roots of Halloween, just put the word ‘Samhain’ into a search engine..

It’s the last big occasion before Christmas; a Bank Holiday weekend in the Republic, and the kids are on half-term holidays.

We had huge fun at Halloween when we were kids – bobbing for apples; Jack O’Lanterns, made from turnips; Mum’s Barm Brack, with the ring for the lucky finder (who will be married within the year – so important to us kids!) Dressing up in too-big clothes (no fancy dress costumes for us back in the day :) ) and knocking on the neighbour’s doors for sweet treats, apples and nuts.. great times, and great memories.

Today, the kids have state-of-the-art costumes, ‘trick-or-treat’, and Pumpkins galore. And hopefully still the same fun as we had..

‘Pumpkins Galore’ – leads me nicely onto today’s little recipe –  Pumpkin Scones for Halloween, or if you just fancy a special scone. I’m going to be serving these slightly warm with delicious cold butter, or with cream cheese flavoured with maple syrup and a dash of Cinnamon.. I found this recipe in a Good Food magazine, so I’ve adapted my simple scones recipe http://eatingforireland.com/recipe/home-made-scones/ to allow me to add some pumpkin puree and spices.

Come with me, My Sweet.. (to be read with a witch’s cackle 😉 )

EQUIPMENT:

  • Food processor (not absolutely essential, but very handy)
  • shallow baking tray, lined with baking parchment
  • weighing scales
  • Medium to large mixing bowl
  • Cookie/scone cutter – about 5-6 cms diameter
  • Rolling pin

INGREDIENTS: makes 12 scones – can be doubled   Pumpkin scones (16)

  • 225g self-raising flour, plus extra for rolling out.
  • 50g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • pinch of salt
  • 25g golden caster sugar
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground Ginger,
  • a good grating of Nutmeg,
  • and a pinch of Allspice.
  • 100g  of Pumpkin puree *See NOTES*
  • 40-50mls of Buttermilk

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METHOD:

  • Heat the oven to 180 Fan or equivalent.
  • Tip the flour, salt and butter into the food processor and blitz until it resembles crumbs. Or put them into a bowl and blend with the tips of your fingers until you get the same result.
  • Add the sugar and spices to the flour mixture and fold in.
  • Pour the mixture into a bowl.
  • Add the Pumpkin puree and 30mls of the Buttermilk and fold gently together with a flat-bladed knife until it comes together. Add up to another 20mls of Buttermilk if you need it. The dough shouldn’t be too wet.

Pumpkin scones (3)

  • Tip out onto a floured surface, bring it all together and knead briefly to make one piece of dough. Don’t over-handle it – it makes the dough tough.
  • Pat the dough into  rough circle, then roll out gently until it’s about 2.5-3 cms deep.
  • Cut out as many circles as you can; place them on the baking parchment-covered baking tray, then gather all the leftovers and get as many more scones as you can. I got 12 today (the 12th one was a bit of a ‘cook’s treat’ though)

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  • Put the scones into the oven and set the timer for 15 minutes.
  • Add  1-2 tablespoons of Maple Syrup, and half a teaspoon of ground Cinnamon to a couple of tablespoons of Cream Cheese and blend in.

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  • After the 15 minutes, take a look – the scones should be well risen and golden – if they’re rather pale, turn the baking tray around, and give them another 5 minutes.

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  • Remove from the oven, allow to cool for a minute or two, then call all your little Ghouls to the table and tuck in, eating the split scones with cold butter or the sweetened cream Cheese.
  • Absolutely delicious!

Pumpkin scones (12)

NOTES:

  • There is such a thing as Pumpkin Spice if you want to look for it, but your home-made version will do equally well.
  • I couldn’t believe how delicious a simple buttered Pumpkin scone was – it’s like they were made to be buttered..
  • The mixture of Cream Cheese, Maple Syrup and a dash of Cinnamon powder is truly amazing as well – I tend to offer both when I’ve made these.
  • Pumpkin Puree – I’ve always made my own – the inside of a pumpkin (minus the seeds and stringy bits) chopped and boiled until as much water as possible is evaporated, then pureed with a hand blender. However, I found these tins of American Pumpkin puree in Sawer’s in Belfast, and couldn’t resist trying them. They are 100% pumpkin meat – no additives at all. It makes it incredibly easy to use any of my Pumpkin recipes, so I may be on my way to being a convert. However, I do love that saintly feeling  (it’s so rare to see a sentence with ‘me’ and ‘saintly’ in it 😉 ) of not throwing any part of the pumpkin out, so I daresay I’ll still be using up my pumpkins this the old0fashioned way as well.

Here are a few more of my Pumpkin recipes:

Pumpkin and rum cake (14)

Pumpkin and Polenta cake

P1280673

Pumpkin Pie

http://eatingforireland.com/recipe/roasted-pumpkin-seeds/

Pumpkin seeds (1)

Crunchy toasted Pumpkin seeds

About

I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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