It’s that pumpkin and squash time of the year and I know that autumn has started when I see these delicious fruits. And to bring that autumn feeling into my home, I use them a lot – pureed for soup, stewed with other vegetables, pies, salads, muffins, you name it. I like butternut squash as it has a nutty and sweet flavor and is full of nutrients and a good source of fibre.
The other day, I had a friend over for tea, and I decided to make butternut squash scones (since I still had some squash sitting on my kitchen counter). I love the ‘perfect’ scones recipe from Gordon Ramsay (see my previous recipe “Jubilee Afternoon Tea”), so I use it again here, but I changed it a little bit and added in butternut squash puree and some spices. The scones came out perfect – very soft and fluffy inside with a hint of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg, This mix of spices always reminds me of the cozy festive days that I spent with family and friends eating warm scones accompanied by a smooth cup of Earl Grey tea.
Adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s perfect scones
- 250g self-raising flour (I use plain flour plus 8g baking powder)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- Good pinch of sea salt
- 90g unsalted butter, softened, cut into little pieces
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. ground clove
- 1 tbsp. caster sugar
- 1/3 cup butternut squash puree (see following for instruction)
- 1 large free-range egg
- 80ml ice-cold milk, plus extra to glaze
To make the butternut squash puree: peel and chop the squash into small pieces and steam for about 8 minutes or until they are soft. Mash well with a fork and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a large bowl and then add the spices. Tip in the butter in little pieces and rub it in using the tips of your fingers and lifting the flour up high so you aerate it. When the butter is incorporated the mixture should look like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the caster sugar.
In another bowl, beat the egg with the milk. Add the butternut squash puree into the milk and egg mixture and combine well. Pour it slowly into the flour mixture and quickly mix together with a large table knife until you have a soft but not sticky dough. Do not over-mix – the quicker and lighter the mixing the higher your scones will rise.
Tip the dough on to a lightly floured surface and very gently roll with a rolling pin or pat out with your fingers to a 2-2.5cm thickness. Using a 6cm cutter, press out as many rounds as you can (this time I patted the dough out with my hand and just cut it into 8 pieces).
Place the dough pieces on the lined baking sheet and brush the tops with milk. Bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden brown. Slide off on to a wire rack and cool. Serve while still warm.
I serve the scones with crème fraiche and raspberry jam, but use any other marmalade you like.