Pumpkin and Cheese Scones

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It’s pumpkin season and they are everywhere.  The variety of pumpkins seems to be growing year on year and the choice of shapes, sizes and colours can be a bit overwhelming, but why make a choice when you can have them all; they’re pumpkins after all! So, as you can see from the photo, I’ll be making pumpkin recipes for some time to come. Pumpkins aren’t just for Halloween! This recipe, originally from Sainsbury’s Magazine (October, 2016), really hits the spot. It’s a savoury, cheesy treat, perfect to eat on its own, with butter or instead of a bread roll with soup. 

Ingredients

275g peeled and deseeded pumpkin or butternut squash (about 350g unprepared weight)

225g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon smoked paprika, plus extra to dust

50g soft butter

125g mature cheddar cheese, coarsely grated

2-3 tablespoons milk, plus extra for brushing

2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

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Directions

·         Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/ gas 7.

·         Chop the pumpkin into rough 2.5cm pieces and put in a microwaveable bowl with 1 tablespoon of water. Cover loosely with clingfilm and pierce in a couple of places. Microwave on high for 5-7 minutes. Drain off any water. Alternatively, wrap the pumpkin loosely in a foil parcel and bake in the oven for 45 minutes until tender.

·         Mash the pumpkin into a puree, then tip it into a sieve over a bowl for 5 minutes to drain off any excess moisture and let it cool slightly.

·         Sift the flour, baking powder and smoked paprika into a mixing bowl and season. Rub in the butter until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in half the cheese.

·         Tip the puree into the mixing bowl and use a table knife to start to blend it into the flour mixture. Add just enough milk to bring it together as a soft, but not sticky, dough.

·         Turn out onto a floured surface and roll or pat out until 2.5cm thick. Use a 5cm cutter to stamp out scones and transfer them to a baking tray lined with baking paper. Re-form the dough to stamp out further rounds until all of it is used up. Brush each scone with a little milk and top with the remaining cheese. Gently press a few pumpkin seeds on top and dust with smoked paprika. 

·         Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until well risen and crisp. Cool slightly before eating.

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Blue Cheese Scones

Cheese scones with cheese board

‘Your dad has made some really good cheese scones with blue cheese’, my mum told me on the phone. Blue cheese scones! I would simply have to make them, so after some expert tips from my dad; you can’t grate blue cheese and make sure you put some on the top, I was ready to go. Scones are a big deal in our family, mainly because they are so quick and easy to make. Though I’ve tried lots of recipes, including Paul Hollywood’s which uses strong white flour, I always come back to the recipe in the Be-Ro cookery book. We have had this book since I was a child, they still publish it and have most of the same recipes in it. As my partner is not a huge blue cheese fan, I also made some cheddar cheese scones.

Blue cheese and cheddar scones

Ingredients

175g self-raising flour

Pinch of salt and pepper

25g unsalted butter

1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

80g cheese (40g blue cheese, crumbled, 40g cheddar, grated)

1 medium egg

2 tablespoons milk

 

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 220°c/ 200°c fan/ gas Mark 7
  • Grease or line a baking tray with parchment paper
  • Mix flour and seasoning. Rub in butter so the flour resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Divide the mixture in two and add the blue cheese to one half and the cheddar cheese to the other. Save some of the cheese for the top.
  • Mix the egg and the milk and add half to each of the flour mixtures with the mustard. Reserve a little of the liquid for glazing at the end. Mix into a soft dough.
  • Roll out into a round of 1.5cm in thickness. With a cookie cutter, cut into rounds.
  • Place on the baking tray and brush the top with the egg wash, taking care not to let it cover the sides. Top the scones with the remaining cheese.
  • Bake for about 10-15 minutes until golden brown

Cheese scones