If there is one thing I have learnt about my 15 years of living in Melbourne, it is that Melbourne does not exactly follow the standard rules of seasons. It is a well known fact that we can sometimes get all the seasons in one day.
Yesterday, we experienced heavy rain, then sunshine, then windy rain, hail and it hit single digit lows all on a Spring*coughs* day in Melbourne. Normally, I don’t mind a little bit of rain to break up the hay fever spells I suffer from in Spring, but this rain was so significant (it rained all day!) that it put me straight back into winter hibernation. To cheer myself up, I found myself embracing the cool change, huddled inside wearing my ugg boots and drinking hot cups of tea to keep warm with the heater blasting. Mmmmmm cosy.
So I have decided to pretend that it is Autumn again – well, just for the day/week at least (depending on the weather forecast). Australia has really started to get behind the whole festivity of Halloween and the aisles are filled with chocolates, HUGE pumpkins for carving (or eating) and lots of pumpkin inspired dishes and desserts so it isn’t really that far of a stretch to be honest. haha. With the chill in the air and occasional bursts of sunshine, it very much reminds me of why Autumn is easily my favourite season of the year.
Which brings me to this amazing #virtualpumpkinparty hosted by Sara from Cake Over Steak and Aimee from Twigg Studios. I had first heard about this via Claudia from The Brick Kitchen‘s instagram. I had a quick look at last years list of recipes and they were INSANE. We are talking about pumpkin cookies, pumpkin waffles!, pumpkin gnocchi and pumpkin pie martinis just to name a few. It is basically a day when a whole lot of amazing food bloggers get together and share recipes of all things Pumpkin – both savoury and sweet. It is the pumpkin fiesta that keeps on giving.
This year, I put my hand up to contribute a recipe at the very last minute. It would be my very first blogging contribution and boy, the line up of bloggers and recipes are both inspiring and mouth-watering all that the same time. It was the perfect time to share this beautifully spiced pumpkin scones served with generous lashings of creamy maple butter.
So prepare yourself, because today, these amazing recipes (the list is included in this post) that are about to hit the internet all at once and I am not even sure where I am going to start with which pumpkin recipes to make! So, prepare to start pinning all these delicious recipes into that Pumpkin Pinterest board (we all have one right?) of yours. You should start with Sara’s Pumpkin and Kale Risotto Arancini, Aimee’s Sausage Stuffing Pumpkin Bake and Claudia’s Pumpkin, Pecan and White Chocolate ice cream sandwiches.
Let the Pumpkin Party begin! I can’t wait to see all the amazing food that everyone shares today.
This post is an especially special one because it marks my return to blogging after much encouragement from family, friends and fellow blog friends (here’s looking at you Claudia! xx). While I can officially say that the blog sabbatical is officially over, this re-boot of InHappenstance is going to be a LOT more relaxed – I am going to share with you pretty much anything that pops into my head… or plate. haha. I am talking whenever inspiration strikes. If you want to keep up to date with what I get up to, make sure you follow me on Instagram. Because, scrolling through pretty food photos, silly faces and pretty landscapes can never get dull.
If you know me, you will know that I often favour simple and uncomplicated recipes because I am all about getting that food in my belly and sometimes I can get a little impatient with the process of it all. Most days, I am somewhat a lazy cook most days because I am so incredibly time poor. So quick and yummy recipes are always at the ready to satisfy those cravings.
So to mark my comeback to blogging, these scones are a pretty awesome way to kick things off. These gorgeous things do not need much fussing about. There is very little handling or kneading required but if this is your first venture into scones, I would recommend you read my butter scones post for top tips on making the best tasting, fluffy, buttery and never dry scones.
These scones are exactly that. A simple one afternoon whip up that yields generous servings of fluffy pumpkin clouds spiced generously with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg served with generous portions of smooth maple butter. It is spiced heaven and is just simply too good to pass up if it was left on a kitchen counter fresh out of the oven. I will warn you now, that if you intend to make these for a gathering, maybe make two batches because you would easily eat one batch on your own.
Harlan was not entirely convinced when I was making these scones. I had told him about the idea a while ago and he didn’t think that it would be something he was interested in. Harlan has a huge sweet tooth and pumpkin in his mind fell firmly under the ‘savoury’ category. So – when testing this recipe, I not only set out to achieve that perfect scone texture but also to nail the sweet-savoury flavour of the pumpkin paired with the spices. Harlan resisted tasting these for a little longer than I had anticipated but he eventually gave in and tried them. Let’s just say, he was converted from his first bite. Besides, how can you resist a pumpkin scone when there is maple butter spread all over it. YUM!
I am not sure if I need to convince you about the maple butter. Maple butter is basically maple butter crystallised and reduce into the goodness of smooth, opaque and creamy consistency. I made a batch in my thermomix and it was such a success. When I ran out of the maple butter, I simply emptied out the rest of my maple syrup and made some more. I ended up putting it on everything. My scones, my breakfast toast and even on a slice of banana bread! Whaaaaaattt?!
A FEW TIPS WHEN MAKING THESE SCONES:
The key to these scones is the interaction and kneading time. Be very light handed with the dough and always mix and knead until just combined. The less time spent with your hands in contact with the dough the better. Use a cool butter knife to mix the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead very gently with warm hands until just combined and smooth.
So there, first post in 8 months done and dusted! I hope you liked my contribution to the #virtualpumpkinparty of 2016. It is going to be an amazing week of delicious recipes and a lot of blogger pumpkin love floating around just in time for Halloween. So head to your nearest farmers market or supermarket – buy ALL the pumpkins that are now on offer and enjoy the party.
I have included the amazing list of bloggers who have contributed to this year’s Virtual Pumpkin Party down below after the scones recipe. These recipes sound amazing. I can’t wait for my eyeballs to drool as I scroll through each recipe. I am definitely going to try and make as many of these recipes as I can before the warm (hopefully hot!) weather hits and then save the rest for when our real ‘Autumn’ rolls around.
Now, if you will excuse me, I have some serious Pinterest pinning to do.
Spiced Pumpkin Scones with Maple Butter
Deliciously spiced pumpkin scones served with maple butter
Pumpkin Scones recipe adapted from: Maple Butter recipe adapted from:
what you need
- 1 cup cooked mashed butternut pumpkin
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 50g butter
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp full-fat milk
- 2 cups self-raising flour
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 -2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon (to taste)
- 165g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
how to make it
- Cook and mash pumpkin and let it cool
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C (356F) fan-forced and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Sift the flour into a large bowl.
- Add the sugar and whisk it through then use your fingers to rub in the butter until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
- Add the egg, milk and pumpkin and fold them through with a cold metal knife until combined.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, flour your hands and pat it out to about 2-3cm thickness.
- Use a floured, round cookie cutter to cut out rounds and place them on the tray so they are just touching.
- Gently pat any excess dough together then let it rest a few minutes and pat out and cut out more circles.
- Bake the scones for 10-15 minutes or until golden.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool or gobble them up straight away with maple butter.
- Pour maple syrup into a medium saucepan; add cinnamon. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until a candy thermometer registers 240 degrees (soft-ball stage), 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and stir in butter until melted.
- Immediately transfer mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat, starting on low and increasing to high, until mixture is thick, opaque, and creamy, about 8 minutes. Store in an airtight container, refrigerated, up to 2 weeks.
Maple Butter Notes: By melting the syrup and butter together the flavour is stronger than just stirring maple syrup through butter. You can also use any spice (cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, cardamom are nice) or a combination for extra flavour.
Scones Notes: For soft scones that are not dry and dense, mix all ingredients using a flat knife and only handle the scone dough lightly until combined. Warm your hands before handling the dough to avoid the butter from seizing up.