This is adapted from a King Arthur Flour recipe. I, being by nature unable to follow any recipe, upped the spices and reduced the salt. Americans tend to use way too much salt most of the time.
One problem I ran into in making this treat was that the Trader Joe’s canned Organic Pumpkin I was using was very dry. This is the opposite problem I usually have with using fresh steamed pumpkin, which tends to be very watery, giving you the dilemma of getting rid of the excess fluid. In this case I used whey to make up the moisture. I usually do not have whey lying around my kitchen, but Eilene made fresh butter to go with the meal (see the post below). Milk or cream would work as well, but I was looking for a way to use up the whey.
I have been making a lot of scones lately, but the usual way of baking them (in a large round cut into 8 wedges) leaves you with only the options of eating way too much or having the break them into unsightly chunks. My solution to this problem is to make mini-scones in a mini-muffin tray. Pete’s Coffee has a 2 Tbs. stainless steel coffee scoop that is sturdy enough to handle stiff dough. It is perfect for quickly and easily measuring out just the right amount for each of the cups in the mini-muffin tray.
My other variation was that when I was chopping the crystallized ginger I ended up with a lot of gingery sugar left over. Instead of just tossing this into the mix with the ginger, I blended it with the Turbinado sugar and used it as the topping.
Karl’s Harvest Pumpkin Mini-scones
2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. teaspoon ground ginger
½ tsp. teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ tsp. teaspoon ground allspice
½ cup cold butter
1 cup crystallized ginger, chopped fine
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
2 large eggs
1/3 cup whey, milk or cream (if necessary)
¼ cup cream , for topping
¼ cup Turbinado sugar, for topping
1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices.
2. Using very cold butter, add thin slices to the flour mixture, stirring occasionally to coat the pieces so they do not stick together. Work in the butter, with a fork or pastry cutter, just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly; it’s OK for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated. Do not over work the butter, if it starts to melt that is BAD. Return the bowl to the refrigerator for 15 minutes if you think it might be getting too warm.
3. While the butter/flour mixture is chilling, chop the crystallized ginger into fine pieces. If there is a lot of excess sugar left on the board gather it together into a small cup.
4. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and eggs till smooth.
5. Fold the crystallized ginger and the pumpkin/egg into the dry ingredients. If necessary add the whey, milk or cream until the dough is moistened and holds together.
6. Pam a min-muffin tray and using a spoon scoop 2 Tbs. of dough into each cup of the tray.
7. Brush each mini-scone with cream and sprinkle a bit of Turbinado sugar on top.
8. For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F.
10. Bake the scones for 18 to 22 minutes, or until they’re golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean, with no wet crumbs.
11. Remove the scones from the oven and quickly move to a wire rack. If you coll them in the pan they may stick, but if you take them out immediately they come out easily. Serve while still warm. In the unlikely event that there are any leftovers, wrap them in an airtight container, and store at room temperature.
Yield: 24 mini-scones