I worried a little about this week’s Muesli Bar Challenge. Scones are not that sweet – I often think their main attraction is as a vehicle for cream and jam. But I needn’t have worried. They didn’t make it to school. I dropped them off to the reviewers at the bus stop, and they were immediately unwrapped and devoured.
They easily meet the other rules of the Challenge. They are low fat, low sugar, low GI, healthy and wholemeal. Local in-season pumpkins are loaded with Vitamin A and fibre, and scones are very fast, and, with a few tricks, easy enough to be a realistic option for school lunch boxes. They also have the advantage of being cheap and using ingredients that you are likely to have on hand.
This recipe has only a few ingredients and they are very ordinary, but it’s all in the way they are treated
Three quarters of a cup of roasted pumpkin, blended with a good desertspoon of brown sugar. Using roasted rather than boiled pumpkin keeps the moisture down so they don’t go soggy. Chop a couple of slices of pumpkin into bite sized pieces, spread on a buttered baking tray, and bake for 5 to 10 minutes till soft. (We have the slow combustion stove going at night these days, but if you don’t, this is obviously best done while you have the oven going for something else). Use a stick blender or a food processor, or a sieve to puree.
Half a cup of plumped up sultanas. It is worth buying organic sultanas – check this link for how non-organic sultanas are treated. Pour boiling water over half a cup of sultanas and allow them to soak for a few minutes to plump up. Then strain off any remaining water.
A cup of wholemeal self raising flour with ½ teaspoon of baking powder and a good desertspoon of butter blended into it. I use a food processor, but you could just rub it in with your fingertips. The trick is to not overwork it or you end up with tough scones.
Mix the three parts together and turn out onto a floured benchtop. They should form a soft, moist dough that you can knead very briefly. Don’t overwork it!
Press the dough out to about 3cm thick and use a small glass to cut out rounds. Reknead the offcuts to cut another lot from the scraps, but these won’t be as good as the first lot, so get as many as you can from the first lot. Brush the tops with milk.
Place them fairly close together on a buttered tray and bake in a fairly hot oven for just 10 to 15 minutes – they cook fast! They will be just lightly browned and firm. Be careful not to overcook them or they go dry.
They need to be eaten fresh, not that that is likely to be a problem!