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! Difficulty: Medium
This recipe makes 12 huge scones or 24 small scones.
- 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 and 2/3 sticks cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup cold buttermilk (or sour milk)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 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 1/2 measuring cup for large scones, or a 1/4 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.