Saturday, 3 March 2012

Pumpkin Parmesan Scones

Pumpkin Parmesan Scones

Back again after four months. I spent two months holiday in France with my loving husband. We celebrated Christmas and New Year with some of our best friends there and been invited here and there for good lunch or dinner. I savored so many good foods, experiencing different new flavors I had never tasted before and every time I eat, my taste-buds were wildly flapping their wings of to the ceiling... Now I am back in Jakarta, and after one full month catching up with the work, and getting used to Jakarta's traffic jam again, I think this weekend is the perfect time for "blogging time".

Pumpkin Parmesan Scones

In November, before I left for my long holiday, I was stunned by Stacy's pictures of her Pumpkin Parmesan Scones in her Bakercourt blog. They are gorgeous and my mind went wild imagining how the taste would be. I have to bake one. Unfortunately, I was so busy with my work and traveling here and there (also for my work). And since I was going to leave for a long holiday at the end of that month, I tried to limit my grocery-shopping so I would not have many things sitting in my fridge.

Pumpkin Parmesan Scones

This morning I woke up and suddenly remembered that I still had half of orange kabocha pumpkin (japanese pumpkin) in the fridge. If it's still good then it would be perfect for Stacy's Pumpkin Parmesan Scones. In fact, it was still in perfect condition after sitting there for two weeks, as if it was just being cut in half one day before. A little part of it was frozen because I put it in the very back of the fridge (that's why I forgot it for long). But it didn't matter since it would be pureed anyway.

The original recipe doesn't explain how to make pumpkin puree, and I have no idea how the consistency should be. I assumed it should be like tomato puree. So I had to find my own technique for that. I decided to microwave the pumpkin, because I didn't want to add any liquid in it. Boiling or steaming would add moisture or water and make the puree more liquid. Baking it in the oven would give a kind of roasty slightly burnt flavor which I don't want.

While mixing the ingredients, instead of having 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree as in the original recipe, I accidentally pour one full cup in. Oops! my dough was too soft and sticky. But that was not a big problem. I just oiled my palms and shaped the dough (apparently this is easier and less messier than rolling and cutting the dough) in round discs of 7 cm diameter and 2 cm thick. I want big scones!

Pumpkin Parmesan Scones

I did several changes on the recipe, even though I think they are not that important and I also think they don't change the overall end result. I also didn't have self-raising flour as the original recipe calls for, so I simply used all-purpose flour and baking powder. One important thing in making scones is to avoid gluten formation. Gluten will make scones chewy and harder and we won't have a soft and crumbly scones. Use cold ingredients whenever possible. In this recipe, I recommend using cold milk and cold puree. And... working on the dough as little as possible. Knead or mix just enough to blend all the ingredients in. Not too long.

Pumpkin Parmesan Scones

There are several things I like from this pumpkin scones: the scones have a nice thin crust outside (maybe because of a little bit of oil from when I shaped the scones and from the egg-yolk) and quite moist soft and crumbly inside (I think that's because of the moisture from the pumpkin puree). The mix of parmesan cheese, freshly cracked black pepper and salt flakes appears to be a brilliant idea. It gives a nice salty cheesy-peppery flavor to balance the slightly sweet pumpkin flavor. Then a hint of nutmeg flavor complete the perfect blend of flavors for this scones. I like this Pumpkin Parmesan Scones a lot. So, thanks to Stacy for sharing the recipe.

Pumpkin Parmesan Scones



Pumpkin Parmesan Scones
(adapted from Bakercourt)
Makes 10 scones

30 grams of salted butter, softened
1/4 cup of powder/icing sugar
1 egg
1 cup of pumpkin puree (see the recipe below), cold
2.5 cups of all purpose flour
1.5 tbsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of fine salt
1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg
1/3 cup of milk, cold
1 tbsp of canola/vegetable oil
2 tbsp of grated parmesan cheese
A pinch of fresh cracked black pepper
A pinch of salt flakes

Preheat the oven to 220 °C and grease a baking tray with a little bit oil.

Sieve together these ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Put aside.

With an electric mixer, beat the softened butter, egg and sugar until it light and fluffy.
Add in the cold pumpkin puree, then the flour mixture and milk. It will form a sticky dough. Do not knead and mix it too long, just barely enough to mix everything in.

Pumpkin Parmesan Scones - sticky dough

With a little bit oil on your palms, shape the dough into several round discs with 7 cm diameter and 2 cm thick. Place them on the prepared baking tray.

Pumpkin Parmesan Scones

In a small bowl, mix together one egg-yolk and one tablespoon of milk. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg-yolk on the scones discs.
Mix the parmesan cheese, fresh cracked black pepper and salt flakes, and sprinkle them on the scone discs.

Pumpkin Parmesan Scones

Bake for 20-30 minutes until they are nicely brown.
Serve warm with butter.

Pumpkin Parmesan Scones


Pumpkin Puree

750 grams of pumpkin (or whatever amount you have), this will obtain 2 - 2.5 cups

Cut pumpkin in small pieces, about 1/2-1 cm thick.
Put the sliced pumpkin in a microwave-safe bowl with a lid. Close the lid but make sure there is a hole of a small opening for the steam to seep through.
Cook in microwave oven until soft for about 10-15 minutes at 70%. The time could vary depending on the wattage of your microwave.
Using a blender or food processor, process the cooked pumpkin until it's smooth.
Pour the puree into a sauce pan and continue cooking on the stove with a low heat for about 15 minutes. Take care to continuously stirring and scrapping the bottom using a wooden spoon/spatula to avoid burnt. It should look like this

Pumpkin Puree

Let it cool to room temperature then in the fridge to make it cold.
Freeze the left over puree to be used in other cooking/baking.


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