Thursday, October 13, 2011

Curried Pumpkin Scones

So just recently my BFF the WX Goddess asked about pumpkin recipes. Somehow she allowed herself to be persuaded to make a trio of pumpkin desserts for a Thanksgiving celebration. We batted ideas back and forth for an afternoon, but really, all you need to do is visit the good people at King Arthur and type pumpkin into their recipe search engine.

Which I did, and if you do this you will know precisely what caught my eye first: Curried Pumpkin and Ginger Scones. Not entirely appropriate for a Thanksgiving dessert, but then, I am not the one who needs to make three different pumpkin treats for a single meal. I just need a quick breakfast.

I have mentioned before how much I detest recipe reviews wherein the reviewer hates the recipe... but did not actually follow the recipe. As in, I did not have any pumpkin, so I just used applesauce, and I hate curry so I skipped it entirely, and on and on, until they have made something, but it's not anything like the original recipe. I may have also mentioned once or twice how I'm not always good at following recipes to the letter. I always think I know better. Frequently I do (at least with respect to what'll taste good to me), and when I don't...well, those experiments just don't get posted.
So this recipe starts off as King Arthur's recipe, but I have changed a few things. Whole wheat flour, brown sugar, more spice: all of my usual substitutions. If it sounds like too much sugar & spice, you can always refer back to the reference recipe.

What You Need
  • 200g (1½ cups) white whole wheat flour
  • 200g (1½ cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 TBS baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 75g (5TBS, packed) light brown sugar
  • ½ cup crystallized ginger, chopped
  • 115g (1 stick, ½ cup) cold butter
  • 125g (½ cup) pumpkin puree
  • 250ml (1 cup) buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
What You Do
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Whisk together the flour, leavening, salt, spices, and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  3. If the crystallized ginger bits seem big to you, chop them until they are as small as you would care to bite into. Mix the ginger into the dry ingredients.
  4. In a two-cup measure, stir together the pumpkin, buttermilk, and vanilla.
  5. Using a pastry blender, cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  6. Pour in the pumpkin mixture, stir gently to combine. You do not want to beat this or knead it, just mix. The dough should come together easily, and be soft, but not overly sticky.
  7. On a lightly floured work surface, roll or pat the dough into a circle (if you want wedges) or a square (if you want square scones) about ¾ inch thick. Cut the scones to the size and shape you like.
  8. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet, and bake for about 20 minutes, until the scones are golden.
  9. Cool on a rack, or eat straight from the oven. Your call. But they actually taste better if you let them cool; the curry flavor gets better and the ginger is more distinct. I know this because I shoveled one straight into my mouth fresh from the oven. It was really good. But the second one two hours later was phenomenal.
What You Eat
You will be very tempted to cut the pan into 9 squares. Please examine the information below before following through with that impulse. Because these numbers are calculated for a pan cut into 16 2x2-inch squares. That's right. If you insist on cutting 9 pieces, I am not responsible for the extra 200 calories per bar. Yes, I said per bar. No, that's not a typo. It's also 14 extra grams of fat.

Calories 261 Protein 2.9g Vitamin B6 4.4%
Fat 18g Vitamin A 46% Folate 1.7%
Saturated Fat 7.6g Vitamin C 1.2% Vitamin B12 0.62%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.1g Calcium 3.5% Pantothenic Acid 2.8%
Monounsaturated Fat 6.5g Iron 3.5% Phosphorus 6.4%
Cholesterol 32mg Vitamin D 2.1% Magnesium 7.0%
Sodium 106mg Vitamin E 8.0% Zinc 3.6%
Potassium 119mg Thiamin 4.2% Copper 7.3%
Carbohydrate 25g Riboflavin 3.8% Selenium 3.9%
Fiber 1.6g Niacin 3.2% Manganese 24%
Sugars 13g
Values are approximate, but based on the USDA database of nutritional information.
They are intended as a guideline only.

What You Learn
  • These are still very tender, even with the whole wheat flour. You could probably get away with 2:1 ratio of whole wheat to AP flour. Next time I will probably try 2c whole wheat, 1c AP.
  • I doubled the curry powder from the reference recipe, and next time I will triple it. I used Penzey's Hot Curry, which gives these just the barest hint of an afterburn. No heat on the front end, just a little warmth on the back end. But I would enjoy an even more pronounced curry flavor.
  • Same goes for the ginger; I am crazy in love with ginger, and the original recipe does not include any ground ginger. I would add even more crystallized ginger also.
  • These do not overwhelm you with a squashy pumpkin flavor; it's not like biting into a piece of pumpkin pie. If you need more pumpkin-y-ness, you could try adjusting the squash:buttermilk ratio. Maybe ¾ cup pumpkin, ¾ cup buttermilk.
  • These smell unbelievable when they are baking. Like autumn in your oven. I want a scented candle that smells like this.

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