It is International Scone Week, according to Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial (and she should know since she invented it). I usually make Belinda Jeffrey’s buttermilk scones or Margaret Fulton’s sultana scones but both books are in Perth and I am down south. How silly of me not to come prepared. I should have known it was International Scone Week:) But, as luck would have it, I had brought down Merle’s Kitchen by Merle Parrish. I was in business.
For those who are not familiar, Merle shot to fame when she appeared on Masterchef. The producers rang the Country Women’s Association looking for someone to appear on the show in a baking challenge and were given Merle’s name. Fellow blogger, Billy Law, was to win immunity if he could beat Merle in a bake-off. Merle won and, at the same time, captured the hearts of Masterchef viewers. Earlier this year, Merle published her book.
Merle has been a member of CWA for 58 years. She is 80 and has won just about every prize in every category in the competitive baking world. She lives in Cudal, near Orange, in New South Wales.
Back to scones… I was flicking through Merle’s book, looking for inspiration and I came across her recipe for pumpkin scones. Now this is International Scone Week and pumpkin scones are an Australian icon. I had some butternut pumpkin in the fridge which I had bought for the dogs. They could live without it, I thought. Everyone has to make sacrifices for good causes. So pumpkins scones it was to be.
- 2 tbs (40mls) butter
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 cup cold, mashed pumpkin (Try to get one with deep colour. The one I had was not the best.)
- a pinch of salt
- 3 cups self-raising flour
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- a little milk, if needed
- Preheat your oven to 200°C -220°C (depending on whether your oven is fan forced or not).
- Lightly grease a baking tray or line it with baking paper.
- Cream the butter, sugar and egg until pale and light.
- Stir in the pumpkin and the salt.
- Sift the flours and baking powder together then add to mixture.
- Using a knife or spatula, mix mixture until it just comes together. If it is not moist enough to come together, add a little milk.
- Turn dough onto lightly floured bench. Knead once or twice to form dough.
- Roll, or pat, dough until it is about 2cm thick.
- Cut out scones with scone cutter. Gather up extra dough, reform and cut more scones.
- Place closely together on prepared baking tray.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, until risen and lightly browned and skewer comes out clean.