From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I hate to see summer end. The Emerald Valley goes brown once the grass and hay are baled and that's a sure sign that fall rains can't be far away. Commitments have started to fill my calendar and I've already pulled the recipes I'll need for the meetings and get-togethers that come with the change of seasons. I've just finished baking a triple batch of pumpkin scones and I like them well-enough to share with you. They are very easy to make and the ingredients used to make them speak to fall. The scones are mildly spiced, but there is no mistaking their ties to Halloween and Thanksgiving. I use a small quantity of masa in this recipe. Masa is an instant corn flour that is used in Mexican cooking. I keep it on hand because I think it improves the texture of biscuits and some quick breads and muffins. I've also added orange zest to the scones and the whipped butter that I serve with them. The flavors of pumpkin and orange really compliment each other and I use the combination whenever I can. I like to serve these warm with whipped butter that is at room temperature. I'll reheat these tomorrow morning, and because I know they'll disappear in the blink of an eye, I've held one back for myself. I think of it as private stock. The scones are fast, easy, inexpensive and seasonal. I really hope you'll give them a try. Here's how they are made.
Pumpkin Scones with Whipped Orange Butter...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
zest of 1 orange
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup masa harina (instant corn masa flour)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/3 cup 2% milk
2 tablespoons chopped pecans, optional
1) To make orange butter: Combine butter, confectioners' sugar, orange juice and zest in a small bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until well-blended and fluffy. Refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving. Yield: 1/2 cup orange butter.
2) To make scones: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease or spray a baking sheet large enough to hold scones. Combine flour, masa, brown sugar, baking powder, pie spice, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a separate smaller bowl, combine egg, pumpkin, orange zest and milk and whisk until blended. Add liquid ingredients to crumb mixture and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in pecans, if using. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead 10 times. Pat into an 8-inch circle. Cut into eight wedges and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm with whipped orange butter. Yield: 8 scones.
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