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Sunday, 8 March 2015

Pumpkin Scones for World Book Day

Many of your will be aware that it was World Book Day last week (5th March). Those with children will probably think of it as a day when your child is invited to go to school dressed up as a character from a book. With such a vast amount of characters to choose from, it can be a challenge to choose one! Anyway, after a brief discussion with my 10 year old daughter, we decided between us that she could go to school as Winnie the Witch using clothing and props we had to hand.

In addition, the children were invited to bring in cakes inspired by cakes mentioned in books. They suggested making the chocolate cake from Ronld Dahl's Matilda, or similar. My daughter, however, inspired by her Winnie the Witch outfit, decided she wanted to make pumpkin scones from Winnie the Witch and the Amazing Pumpkin. She, of course, is used to eating home made cakes with vegetables in and is somewhat unaware that most children would rather eat a chocolate cake decorated liberally with sweets.

I was all for the pumpkin scone idea. I still, amazing, have 6 mini pumpkins sat in my greenhouse in need of eating. And I'm always on the look out for recipes to add to my somewhat ambition target of 101 things to do with pumpkins. I was, however, concerned, that her classmates might consider her... hmmm... a bit weird for bringing in lumpy, dull, vegetable filled scones to a fun bake off. With this in mind I searched the internet for a pumpkin scone recipe that would at least look appealing to the average 10 year old.

Fortunately, it turns out that pumpkin scones are a bit of a thing in the USA and, over there, Starbucks coffee shops sell pumpkin scones to die for (apparently). I don't frequent coffee houses often but I'm pretty sure that Starbucks don't do a pumpkin scone over here. Anyway, the photo I came across showed a triangular scone, smothering in two different types of icing. There were also various "copycat" recipes to help those who are addicted to the scones (but put off my the price) to make them at home. So, after school last week, armed with a print out from the internet and a set of measuring cups (why don't Americans use scales?), we set about making pumpkin scones.

It took a bit of fiddling around to convert the recipe to UK measurements and still have to come together properly. Just to be sure, I made them again at the weekend before sharing the recipe with you. As I had recently made a batch of Plum & Cinnamon Jam, it made sense to use this as a drizzle instead of one of the types of icing. Anyway, if you happen to have a spare pumpkin to hand, I would recommend making these scones. Or you could save the recipe for the autumn, or you could buy yourself a tin of pumpkin puree.

Pumpkin Scones (makes 16)

10 oz self-raising flour
4 oz unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
2 oz light brown sugar
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
2 tsp mixed spice
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz pumpkin puree
1 egg yolk or a little milk
2 oz icing sugar
1 tbsp milk
2 tbsp Plum & Cinnamon Jam

Preheat oven to 200°C, gas 6 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Rub the butter, flour and salt together to form a breadcrumb consistency. Add the bicarb, sugar and spices and mix. Add the pumpkin and egg and bring together as a dough. If sticky, add a little flour. Roll out onto a floured surface into a square about 1 inch thick. Cut into quarters and then cut each quarter in half diagonally to make 8 triangles. Then cut each triangle in half to make 16 smaller triangles. Place the scones onto the baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden. Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. In the meantime, mix the icing sugar and milk together to make icing. Once the scones are cool, drizzle this over each scone to cover. Leave to harden. Later, warm the jam then use a chopstick to drizzle the jam over the icing in a zigzag pattern. Eat the same day or within 3 days.

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