Pumpkin Parmesan Scones

Monday, October 24, 2011

When I first moved to the UK, on my second day here, I discovered British book stores. They're beautiful and big, and filled from top to bottom with glossy covers. There are hundreds of different book stores - from the amazing £2 store (The Last Bookshop) in Oxford to the big brands of the market like Foyles, Waterstone's and W.H.Smith. And lo - it was good. Moving here wasn't so bad, after all.

And I bought my first cook book, too. I began baking.

It was an Australian's Women's Weekly book. The recipes, at the time, were beyond my ability and packed from cover to cover with beautiful pictures that looked like they belong on the the shelves of a la-di-dah cake store. That was two years ago. Arriving home with a baking book was like uncovering the holy grail of kitchenry, and I started a blog (which has since migrated here after my original hosting closed down) to document my progress.

So, when I decided to find a good cake recipe for the wedding, I turned to the Women's Weekly again.

Ooh, pretty. Now, for some reason, the recipes mentioned on that image aren't the same as the ones in my book. Think: scones, cakes, tarts and sandwiches. Proper British Afternoon Tea. I also couldn't resist adding Cakes, Biscuits and Slices and The Cake Stall to my shopping basket - more on that later.

I've never particularly like scones, and I've only very recently starting sampling whipped cream - occasionally - with strawberry jam on scones/crumpets/buns. But, when I saw the recipe for Pumpkin Parmesan Scones, I knew it was time to expand my baking repertoire.

They're not exactly wedding cake, but they were oh-so easy to make, so it was a pleasant (and rather tasty) aside whilst I mixed up Marbled Chocolate Mud Cake (which I'll show you very soon, once I've managed to take a picture of a slice without gobbling it up first!).

The dough is crumbly, but I remember from my mom's scones that this is normal. You knead together to make a flat disc which you then cut into rounds for baking. It is a little bit squishy in places - especially if you're a little lazy with your pumpkin-mashing.

... and a little sprinkling of parmesan and pepper goes a long way! The scones bake into a golden yellow colour (thanks to the pumpkin) and the crumbling cheese on top is deliciously baked in. Served with butter and cheese for lunch - yum!

I've typed up the recipe for you from the book, and I'd definitely recommend buying your own copy too. I got mine from Amazon for £4.33. It has a lot of good recipes in it (and also in the two other books that got packed up with it!), and I foresee many baking weekends in the Bakercourt household.

Pumpkin Parmesan Scones

30g butter, softened
1/4 cup icing sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup cold cooked mashed pumpkin
2 1/2 cups of self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup of milk
2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
pinch of cracked black pepper
pinch sea salt flakes

1. Preheat oven to 220'C and grease a cake pan/tray.
2. Beat butter, sugar and egg in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and stir in the pumpkin. Add the sifted dry ingredients and milk. Use a knife to cut the milk through the flour mixture to a soft, sticky dough. Turn dough onto floured surface, knead gently until smooth.
3. Press dough out to 2cm thickness and cut out 5cm rounds. Place rounds just touching on the cake pan/tray.
4. Brush scones with milk and sprinkle with the combined cheese, pepper and salt.
5. Bake scones for about 20 minutes and server with warm butter.
6. Scones can be frozen for up to 3 months, if you have any left. They should be thawed in the oven, wrapped in foil.

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