Monday, December 2, 2013

Pumpkin-Pecan Scones with Maple Glaze

Ready for another week of winter squash love? I hope you're not pumpkin-ed out after Thanksgiving because I have a really great pumpkin scone recipe for you today!

I actually roasted and pureed my own pumpkin puree from a nearly 6 pound sugar pumpkin I recently picked up at a local farm. I used these instructions for roasting that bad boy and turning its flesh into silky orange puree. You can certainly used canned puree as well, so don't fret either way!

I only used some of the puree for these deliciously tender and spiced scones, so the rest of the puree will be featured in an upcoming post for 12 Weeks of Winter Squash.

These scones are incredibly fragrant from an intense mixture of seasonal spices. They are studded with bites of pecan and complimented with a sweet maple-infused glaze. They are perfect with a cup of tea or coffee in the morning, afternoon, or even as an after-dinner sweet.

I make all my scones by hand, using my tried and true formula, tweaking it occasionally for the variety of flavor profiles I choose to infuse into the pastries. Just like all the other scones I've made over the years, these feature an utterly tender crumb with a mild sweetness. The glaze really adds a bit of a sugar rush whereas the scones themselves are elegantly restrained.

Pumpkin-Pecan Scones with Maple Glaze
Makes 12

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
4 ounces cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg, beaten
2 to 4 tablespoons milk, buttermilk, or heavy cream, plus more for brushing

Maple Glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and set the rack in the center. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. Add cold butter cubes to the flour mixture and work the butter into the flour mixture, using your fingers or a pastry cutter, until the mixture resembles coarse pea or dime-size crumbs. Be careful not to overwork the mixture or the butter will soften too much and the resulting scones will not be flaky. Add the pecans and toss well.

Stir together the pumpkin puree, egg, and a couple tablespoons of milk. Add it to the flour mixture and mix until just combined, kneading lightly (but don't overwork it). Add more milk if needed to create a soft, slightly sticky dough.

Scrape dough onto a nicely floured large wooden cutting board or work surface. The dough may be sticky, so take extra care flouring your hands and the sides and top of the dough as well. Divide the dough in half and pat each portion into a 3/4-to-1-inch thick circle. Don't overwork the dough, as you want the butter inside to stay as cold as possible until the scones head into the oven.

Use a bench/dough scraper or knife to cut 6 wedges (like a pizza) from each round. Flip each cut scone over and place upside down on the parchment lined baking sheet (the bottoms are flatter and will look prettier as the tops of the scones), spacing a couple inches apart. Lightly brush on top of the scones (but not the sides) with a little milk or heavy cream. Bake scones for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly golden on top. Remove from the oven and allow the scones to cool on the pan while you prepare the glaze.

Stir together the confectioners' sugar, milk, and maple syrup until smooth. If the glaze is too thin, add a sprinkle more confectioners' sugar. Too thick, add a drizzle of milk. When scones are cool, drizzle the glaze over the tops. Allow the glaze to set briefly and then serve the scones at room temperature.


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