The food internet is going completely stark raving mad over pumpkin right now. Well in America anyway. This happens at this time every year. If there was any more pronounced way to signal Fall, Halloween and thanksgiving, bright orange pumpkin recipes in ever permutation is it. Despite us heading towards summer in South Africa, I felt like making a version of my very popular easy pumpkin scones with Parmesan and thyme from last year. I wanted to use butternut which is more of a staple than pumpkin here, and mix up the cheese a bit. I also adore cheese and chives together, so these were the bomb.
Oh, and baking makes me happy.
I have used a combination of Parmesan cheese which is too delicious and Gruyere cheese beacasue I love its nutty flavour. An aged sharp Cheddar would also work beautifully.
I always follow a few tricks when making scones. I never overwork the dough, and with these you literally mix with a regular eating knife until everything comes together. I give the dough a very light knead on a floured surface. I pat it out rather than roll it flat, and always make quite thick scones. This way you are already winning. I use a very sharp cutter and I flour the edges. I make swift direct cuts into the dough to cut out the scones. If the cutter is blunt, it will drag the dough down the sides which inhibits its rising. Also, only brush the tops of the scone, never the sides. Brushing the sides can also prevents the scone from rising.
Scones are best eaten warm as they come out the oven with lashings of butter and perhaps even more cheese. I like to freeze what I dont eat on the day straight away in a ziploc bag. When I want a snack in the furture I simply whip out and microwave for 20 seconds. A slice of smoky ham in one of thse made a fabulous sandwich too.
Recipe – makes 10 – 12 scones
- 350g butternut, peeled and cut up into cubes
- 21/2 cups self raising flour
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Gruyere
- 1/2t salt
- 1/2t black pepper
- 4T finlely chopped chives
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg yolk
- 1T buttermilk
- 3T sunflower or pumpkin seeds (optional) for the top
- Preheat the oven to 200 C (400 F)
- Steam the butternut in a metal basket or sieve over boiling water (lid on). Cook for 10 - 15 minutes until soft. Set aside to cool and dry off in the air. Blend in a food processor or with an immersion blender until smooth (you could also mash by hand)
- Mix the flour, cheese, chives, salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Add the buttermilk and butternut puree to the dry mixture and using a knife lightly mix it until it is just combined.
- Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly to form a dough.
- Press the dough down to about 4-5cm and cut the scones using a 5 - 6cm cookie cutter and place on a baking sheet lined with silicone or baking paper.
- Mix the egg yolk and extra buttermilk together and brush the tops of the scones (NOT the sides)
- Sprinkle on the seeds, and bake in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes until golden brown.
I look forward to connecting with you again in the future.