I know I’ve spent a good many hours and a good many words raving about the amazing food and flavor that is pumpkin, but please bear with me. I’m going to do it again. Pumpkin and I just can’t get enough of each other.
I’m convinced that certain flavors carry with them innate powers. Some change the weather. Some hold memories of beloved family members. Some take you back to the very first time you tasted them. And then there are others, the truly special ones, that can lighten your mood and warm your heart all at the same time. It takes little more than a taste to make the world around you suddenly feel a bit calmer, a bit happier and a bit more everything-is-how-it-should-be. I’ve found that in my day-to-day life, there are very few problems or stresses that a hint of pumpkin can’t solve. Yes, that probably means things on the whole stay pretty sunny in our casa, but it also means pumpkin is a tried and true kind of friend.
This recipe is an adaptation of mrslarkins’ butternut sage scones that I found on Food52 a while back. Don’t be afraid of the generous doses of spices; that’s what rounds out the pumpkin and really brings the happy flavor home.
Adapted from mrslarkin, food52.com
• 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
• 6 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top of scones
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• ½ teaspoon kosher salt
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ginger
• ½ teaspoon cloves
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
• ½ cup pumpkin puree
• 1/3 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing on top of scones
• 1 large egg
• cinnamon drizzle (recipe below)*
In the large bowl of a food processor (fitted with the chopping blade), place the dry ingredients, and pulse to combine. Add the butter, and pulse 10 or so times to combine (you should retain some small pieces of butter; don’t over mix). Transfer flour mixture to a large mixing bowl. If there are any really large butter lumps, you can squish them with the back of a fork.
In a large measuring cup, place pumpkin, egg, heavy cream and vanilla. Mix well, then pour into flour mixture. Using a dinner fork, fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture while gradually turning the bowl (you’re aiming for a folding motion, not stirring). When dough begins to come together, gently kneed dough into a ball shape.
Transfer dough ball to floured board, and gently pat it into a 6-inch circle. Use a pastry scraper or large chef’s knife to cut it into 8 triangles (scoring the top ahead of time and using the lines as guides makes this a bit easier).
Place the scones on a wax-paper-lined sheet pan, and freeze until solid. (Once frozen, scones can be stored in a plastic freezer bag for several weeks.)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place frozen scones on a parchment-lined baking sheet, about 1 inch apart. Brush tops with cream, and sprinkle tops with sugar.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turning pan halfway through. Scones are done when a wooden skewer comes out clean. When cool, drizzle with cinnamon glaze.
* Cinnamon drizzle: Mix 1 cup powdered sugar with about ¾ teaspoon cinnamon. Add 2 tablespoons warm water, and stir until smooth. The consistency should be thick like corn syrup, so add a bit more water or sugar as needed.
What’s your favorite happy-inducing flavor or ingredient? Is there a beloved recipe that you like to whip up, no matter the season, just to lighten the mood or warm the house? And in light of all the pumpkin love, does anyone have a great pumpkin-filled recipe to share? Let’s hear it!