Sunday, October 31, 2010
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Scones
I'm still not sick of pumpkin. Any food with pumpkin or pumpkin spice in the name immediately catches my attention and I'm constantly on the hunt for new recipes, especially baked goods, using pumpkin. I made and really enjoyed some Pumpkin Muffins a few weeks ago so I've been hunting for a whole wheat pumpkin scone recipe, of which there are surprisingly few. I generally get my recipes from well-known sources like Food and Wine, Epicurious (which aggregates Bon Appetit and Gourmet recipes), or Martha Stewart, but none of my go-to sources had a pumpkin scone recipe that I could find, so I resorted to Google. I found the basis for my recipe through Saveur, a great food magazine and tweaked it just a bit to my preferences. As usual, I have many more scones than I can eat on my own before they get stale, so I froze extras for satisfying breakfasts over the next couple of weeks. The spice and pumpkin flavors are clearly present and complemented by the nutty whole wheat flour, but not too aggressive and the delicate texture imparted by the whole wheat pastry flour makes these light and seasonal scones a healthy breakfast treat.
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Scones
adapted from A Dash of Sass, via Saveur
makes 8 scones
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (I recommend canned instead of fresh; it has a more concentrated flavor)
1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream*
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed or grated and kept cold until needed
3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
2 t. turbinado sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips or dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, etc.) (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a SilPat.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the pumpkin, cream, vanilla and one egg until combined. Place bowl in the refrigerator while preparing the dry ingredients.
3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.
4. Using a pastry blender, two forks or your fingers, quickly work the cold butter cubes into the dry ingredients. Work until the mixture resembles a crumbly, sandy mixture.
5. Add the cold wet ingredients to the crumbly mixture using a rubber spatula. Only stir until combined. Carefully add 1/2 cup of the chopped pecans and any additional add-ins (chocolate chips, dried fruit). Reserve the remaining 1/4 cup chopped pecans to sprinkle on the top of the scones. Knead the dough briefly, if needed.
6. Pour the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape dough into a 7-inch square. Using a large knife, carefully cut the square into quarters on the diagonal and cut each quarter into two pieces (8 pieces total). Place on lined baking sheet.
7. In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg with a fork. Using a pastry brush, brush each scone lightly with the egg. Sprinkle each scone with 1/4 t. turbinado sugar and the remaining pecans.
8. Bake for 12 to 17 minutes or until scones are golden brown, rotating the pan halfway through baking time**, being careful not to overbake the scones (they will dry out). Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or store in an airtight container for up to a week (extras can also be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and frozen).
*The hydration level of flour varies quite a bit depending on the ambient humidity, so how much liquid is required to bring the dough together will also vary.
**I suspect my oven runs a bit hot, so your baking time will probably be towards the middle or end of the range given, possibly even greater if your oven runs a bit cool. I would start checking at 12 minutes and keep an eye on them, as scones can go from golden to burnt (especially the pecan topping) in a short amount of time.