07 December 2009

Too much pumpkin can't be bad

I wanted to start this out by telling you that if you haven't read or heard me talk about marshmallows, we've been out of touch. I had so much fun making them last week, and then I had even more fun sharing them with neighbors and friends.

So, other than making marshmallows, I've been cooking with a lot of pumpkin lately. I knew it, but when Seth mentioned it, I knew the jig was up. He said it reminded him of the attack of asparagus that came upon us last May. He said I managed to get it into everything, serving the slender greens for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I won't eat asparagus when it's not in season, so, I figure, I might as well get my fill considering how quickly it comes to a close each spring. But the pumpkin has been coming from a can. Just plain old canned pumpkin puree, and while there's no season for the canned foods, it just seems like a winter treat to me. Plus, it turns out that pumpkin can be added to a ton of other dishes, boosting fiber and some great vitamins. In fact the vet has ordered us to top the dog's kibble with it once a day to give him a bit more fiber. Yes, I know, more than you wanted to know. Turns out that Jasper loves pumpkin, too. Or at least he doesn't throw it on the floor and then applaud his efforts like he does with peas.

So, thanks to Wiley and Jasper, we've got pumpkin in the fridge all the time. And I recently added it, along with some currants, to my biscuit dough and turned them into scones. It was pretty tasty and a quick breakfast. As I've mentioned with biscuits, you can make these up ahead of time, freeze them unbaked and then bake them off when you need.

Recipes like this can come in handy when you've either got guests in town or you just like to have a little something to make a morning feel a bit more special.

Pumpkin Currant Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for working with dough

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4 teaspoon salt
3 to 4 tablespoons sugar (depending on your sweet tooth)
1/2 cup butter, cold, cubed
2/3 cup milk

2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
handful of dried currants
brown sugar

In a food processor combine dry ingredients and cubed butter. Mix, pulsing until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. If you do not have a food processor, use a pastry blender to combine ingredients. Dump flour and butter mixture into a mixing bowl and add milk and pumpkin. Combine with a spoon and add currants. Turn out dough onto well-floured surface. Work dough into a ball and use a rolling pin to roll dough out, keeping it in a circle to about 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Using a knife, bench scraper or pizza cutter, cut the circle of dough in half. Then cut each half into thirds, ending up with six triangular shapes. Dip cut scone tops and bottoms in melted butter and transfer to baking sheet. Sprinkle tops with brown sugar. Place scones in freezer for at least five minutes (I place the entire baking sheet in there). Bake biscuits in 450 oven for about 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Or, to store frozen, freeze scones, making sure they do not touch and store in an airtight container. Allow to sit out about 15 minutes at room temperature before baking.

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