I recently baked pumpkin scones with fresh cranberries and pecans. I was not too excited about the idea of nuts and berries in my scone, so I baked the first half with no nuts or berries. They came out really yummy, but I felt like my taste buds were searching for that burst of something. So, I went to three different grocery stores and finally found fresh cranberries! The recipe called for walnuts, but I had pecans left over from something else, so I used pecans. The recipe also calls for raisins, but I hate raisins and will never put them in anything I bake.
The scones came out incredibly moist–like, about to fall apart moist and delicious! The key to their perfect texture and moistness is: Don’t overwork the dough! For scones to have a flaky texture, you’ve got to keep the dough cold–as in use really cold ingredients. COLD butter–right out of the fridge. COLD milk. The butter should melt in the oven–not in the mixing bowl! Don’t open the oven door during the first 10 minutes–you will interrupt the baking temperature at a crucial time. Also, if you don’t want to invest in the 4 spices needed in this recipe, you can substitute the cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves and ground ginger for 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice; however, it will have a slightly different taste.
Preparation Time: about an hour
Cooking Time: about another 30 minutes to an hour if you’ve only got one baking sheet and one oven!
This recipe makes 12 huge scones or 24 small scones.
- 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 and ⅔ sticks cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup cold buttermilk (or sour milk)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup golden raisins
- Position an oven rack in the center. Preheat to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Measure the dry ingredients into the bowl of a food processor (with blade attached). Pulse to mix.
- Add the butter all at once. Pulse until there are no chunks of butter and the mixture looks like moist crumbs (see pic). Don't overwork the flour and butter.
- In a small bowl, whisk the eggs to break up the yolks. Whisk in the buttermilk, pumpkin puree, and vanilla. Stir in the cranberries, walnuts, and raisins.
- In a large bowl, combine the wet and dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture just comes together. Again, you don't want to overwork the dough!
- Scoop even amounts of batter onto the baking sheet. Use a ½ measuring cup for large scones, or a ¼ measuring cup for smaller ones. Leave 2 inches between each scone.
- Bake of 12-17 minutes for smaller scones. 20-25 minutes for larger scones. Remove as soon as a toothpick entered into the center of one of the scones comes out clean.
- Place baking sheet on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove the scones with a spatula and transfer the scones directly to the wire rack, or directly to a serving dish. Serve hot or at room temperature.