Monday, 31 October 2011

A pumpkin explosion

We carved this monstrous trio from pumpkins grown for us by our lovely neighbour. She didn't know what variety they were but I decided to have a go at cooking the flesh anyway. It was a rather haphazard affair. I roasted some of the larger chunks, steamed the smaller bits in the microwave... but then just mixed it all together anyway and blended it to what turned out to be a rather looser puree than I might have hoped for. The answer seemed to be to reduce the water content by simmering it in an open saucepan... The answer, that is, if the question had been: "What's the best way to spread volcanic splashes of pumpkin over the widest available area?"
A day later I'm still finding splodges and splashes in unexpected places (inside drawers, on the backs of handles) and I'm trying to think of nice things to do with the puree - things other than use it as a wall covering, that is. Last year I seem to remember making pumpkin scones quite successfully... but can I find the recipe? Can I heck. So I made one up, and here it is.

What have you done with the insides of your pumpkins this year?

Pumpkin scones with maple icing

250g plain white flour
100g wholemeal flour
half a teaspoon each of ground ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg
4 tsp baking powder
half a teaspoon of salt
70g cold, cubed butter
50g dark brown/Muscovado sugar
50g sultanas
250ml pumpkin puree
1 egg, beaten

For the glaze:
icing sugar, maple syrup, a drizzle of milk, a sprinkling of cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 220˚C.
Whisk the flours, spices, baking powder and salt together in a bowl, then rub in the butter. Add the sugar, sultanas, pumpkin puree and egg and combine together to create a stiff dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and press into a thick round, then cut into eight wedges and transfer to a greased baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes while you prepare the glaze by combining, the maple syrup and milk - drop by drop - with the icing sugar and cinnamon. Drizzle onto the warm scones and leave to set/cool.

Family-friendliness rating: Totally depends on how hungry they are.

Cleanup rating: Pretty straightforward

Can you freeze it? Not sure about this... definitely best eaten very shortly after they're made.

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