Spiced pumpkin scones and caramel butterRecipe and photography by Tara O'Brady
These scones aren’t the dainty sort; they are rustic but tender, slightly sweet with pumpkin and the aromatic spices of fall baking. Just the thing to snack on alongside a cup of tea. Sweet with a touch of salt, this simple caramel spread also makes a fine topping for pancakes and waffles.
For the scones
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
- 1 cup (1/2 pound, 2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, diced
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup pumpkin purée (unsweetened)
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons 35% (heavy, whipping) cream, chilled
- Granulated sugar, for sprinkling
For the caramel butter
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon 35% (heavy, whipping) cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sour cream
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the scones
1 Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Use parchment paper to line a standard baking sheet and set aside.
2 In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. On the machine's lowest setting, cut in the chilled butter until the mixture resembles course meal. The butter should be in small pieces approximately the size of peas.
3 In a bowl, lightly whisk together the eggs, pumpkin purée and 1/2 cup cream. With the machine running still on low (or stir), pour the liquids slowly into the flour and butter mixture, stirring until just combined. Small bits of butter should still be visible, and almost all the flour should be incorporated. If the mixture seems dry, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream.
4 Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Working quickly, gently knead the dough, folding and pressing gently until fairly smooth. Divide the dough into four, and shape each ball of dough into a 4" round about 3/4-1-inch thick. Cut each round into four wedges, and place on the prepared baking sheet.
5 Bake in preheated oven until the the tops are barely golden and the cut sides look flaky and dry, around 20 minutes. When fully cooked, they should feel light for their size and sound almost hollow when tapped underneath. Place on a wire rack, sprinkle with granulated sugar, and cool for at least 5 minutes. Best served warm.
Makes 16 medium scones
For the caramel butter
1 In a small saucepan combine the sugar with 2 tablespoons water, making sure that no sugar is clinging to the sides of the pan (if so, use a bit more water and a pastry brush to wash the sugar into the liquid). Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil without stirring. Continue to cook, swirling occasionally, until the syrup has turned golden in colour and reaches 350°F (175°C) on a candy thermometer, around 8-10 minutes.
2 Off the heat, allow the caramel to cool for one minute. Then, whisking constantly, carefully pour in the cream, followed by the sour cream and finally the salt. If the caramel thickens unevenly and won’t combine, place back on the heat for a few seconds to melt and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool.
3 In a medium bowl, beat the butter until light and aerated. Pour in the room-temperature caramel and stir; leave rippled, or fully blended, whichever is preferred. Serve slightly chilled, but spreadable, with the warm scones.
Makes around 1/2 cup
About Tara O'Brady 5 years ago, Tara started Seven Spoons, a blog that allowed her to document her culinary experiments. Since that point, the Southern Ontario native has created a site that showcases fabulously photographed recipes and musings of her day-to-day life.