I have this story about how much I love pumpkin scones, how much I loved these pumpkin scones and how much I enjoyed sharing them. But today I am so distracted from pumpkin scones. Sydney continues to be in a desperate situation with covid cases rising at an alarming rate. Melbourne has locked down tighter today as our cases are low (about 20 a day) but too many are mystery cases and infectious in the community. And then hearing of the disturbing stories about women and minorities in Afghanistan, which has fallen to the Taliban. On any other day, I might think my brain is scrambled after having my second Astra Zeneca covid vaccine but today there are so many reasons to feel tired.
But let me go back to the inspiration for the scones. I am indebted to Tandy Sinclair of Lavender and Lime, a blogger who took on the International Scone Week baton and continues to hold it every year. I come from a long line of scone bakers. Baking and eating scones is a joy and a comfort. But life is busy and I never bake them as much as I mean to. So I love to participate in International Scone Week each year. This year it is 9-15 August but I missed the deadline and am very glad that Tandy is generous with her timelines!
International Scone Week is not just an excuse to bake scones but to experiment with new ideas. One of my favourite scones are pumpkin scones. So I browsed through scone recipes on taste.com.au. there were many tempting ideas: gingerbread, zucchini and cheddar, and a ploughman's platter with roast vegetable scones. However I zeroed in on the Pumpkin and Lemonade Scones. The idea of making scones with lemonade and cream instead of butter and milk is not new but I've never seen it applied to pumpkin scones. It was worth a try.
When I make pumpkin scones I often just microwave some pumpkin and mash
it before adding to the creamed butter and sugar. It took me a few
times of adding warm pumpkin to the mixture to find I had to cool it so it did not melt the butter. So the idea of pumpkin scones without butter appealed. No more avoiding melting the butter!
I liked the idea of adding sour cream and ginger ale. Cream and
lemonade are not routinely in my kitchen so I had to go out and buy them
anyway. While I am not a big fan of plain lemonade (the sparkling
clear sweet one from the shops not homemade lemonade with real lemon
juice), I love ginger ale. It didn't make a big difference to the
flavour but I was my happier with my leftover drink. I had thought that
soft drink would make up for not adding sugar. But the scones weren't
as sweet as my usual pumpkin scones. I like how the sugar brings out
the pumpkin flavour so I have put a spoonful in the recipe below.
I initially though I could give some scones to a friend but once I made
the batch, it seemed much bigger than I had expected. Sylvia does not
like pumpkin scones (what!) so I am alone in eating them. I made them
at lunchtime on my half day and was about to go out for a medical
appointment and to meet up with my friend. So I took some warm scones
in a tea towel to a neighbour to share with others in my block. Our
verandahs form a courtyard where we can sit with a cuppa and chat. They
had them with cream cheese.
Meanwhile I met my friend for a walk around Princes Park. We stopped
and ate some scones with butter and jam before starting our walk. Given
that it was in the midst of our current lockdown, it cheered us up
enormously to share some warm scones. It is the little things that are
special in a pandemic. So I am very grateful to Tandy for her
inspiration which has been a cheering moment in lockdown. Please visit
her blog to see the list of scones other bloggers have made for International Scone Week.
More interesting scone recipes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Beetroot, apple and walnut scones (v)
Olive, pineapple and cheese scones
Pumpkin, pecan and poppyseed scones (v)
Walnut, brie and apple scones
2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1 tbsp sugar (or honey)
Large pinch salt
1 cup mashed pumpkin
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup ginger ale
1 tbsp milk, for glazing
Preheat oven to 230 C and prepare a medium size baking tray. (I didn't grease or line but had a few scones stick so it is up to you which you prefer.)
Mix flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. (If you decide to use honey, add this to the wet ingredients instead.) In a large jug, mix pumpkin, sour cream and ginger ale. Pour into the flour mixture and fold in with a flat butter knife.
Turn the soft dough onto a well floured board and knead until just soft. Pat out on a floured board to about an inch thick and cut into rounds with scone cutter (or a glass). Brush with milk.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Wrap in a tea towel until ready to eat. Best eaten on the day of baking. Serve with butter and jam or butter and vegemite or your favourite scone topping.
On the Stereo:
Tiddas: self titled album