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It may seem a little early to be thinking of pumpkins but rest assured these autumnal-coloured scones are made with the first-of-the-season gourmet variety - bushfire or buttercup are exceptional.
2 cups of flour
⅓ cup brown sugar
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
115g butter, cold and cut into small pieces
⅓ cup raisins or sultanas
120ml buttermilk (approx)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup pureed cooked pumpkin
I like to steam pumpkin when using it in mixtures like this as it retains it beautiful colour and doesn't absorb too much liquid.
If using bushfire pumpkins you can leave the skin on as it is thin and edible. Otherwise, carefully remove the skin with a sharp knife.
Remove the seeds and discard, cut the flesh into even-sized cubes and place in your steamer over simmering water until the pumpkin is very tender (about 10 minutes).
Remove and drain off any excess liquid. You can mash the pumpkin for a more coarse texture or puree it in a food processor for a finer texture if desired.
Preheat the oven to 180degC.
In a large bowl sieve the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, spices and salt together. Add the cold butter and work it through the flour with your fingertips until you get a coarse breadcrumb texture. Add the sugar and raisins and stir to combine.
Now add the cooled pumpkin puree and mix through using a bread and butter knife.
Add half the amount of buttermilk to the mixture. This will vary depending on the consistency of your pumpkin puree. Add more if required. Continue mixing until it just starts to stick together. Remove the knife and now get your hands in there. Sprinkle a little flour on your workbench and tip out the slightly sticky dough.
The most important tip on making scones is that you do not overwork the dough.
Gently bring together the dough so it forms a smoothish ball and flatten out with your hands until you get a rectangle shape 15cm by 15cm, cut into about 12 squares and place on to a baking tray.
Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven or until they have risen and gone a wonderful golden, pumpkin colour.
Cool slightly and enjoy.
• Alison Lambert, chef at the Otago Farmers Market, will be demonstrating this recipe at the market on Saturday morning.