Here in Australia, we love pumpkin (it's my favourite vegetable). It's nearly as popular as potato as a vegetable served at most main meals. It's one of the first solids our babies eat. It's also quite a popular vegetable for dishes like risotto, pizza toppings, lasagna, ravioli fillings, dips and the way I like, in baking. My fussy nearly 7 year old daughter just won't eat vegetables but I've been putting them in most of my baking for years now. Besides helping her get some goodness, it makes for a lovely moist cake or muffin.
They're good to eat because:
- They’re an excellent source of beta carotene and the deeper the flesh colour, the higher the level of this pro-vitamin (it’s converted to vitamin A in the body).
- They’re also a good source of vitamin C, with Queensland Blue coming top of the pumpkin class for this vitamin.
- They’re a source of dietary fibre and they supply (especially Golden nugget and Butternut) a good source of potassium.
- They don’t have a lot of carbohydrate, but some of it is present as natural sugars, which is why they taste sweet.
- Depending on the variety of pumpkin, 100g has from 125-200kJ.
|My Nanna's homemade vintage scone cutter made from a tin can (a bit rusty to use now but a wonderful keepsake)|
One of the most famous ways to use pumpkin in baking (well, here in Queensland at least) is in pumpkin scones. We had a politician here in Queensland called Sir Johannes "Joh" Bjelke-Petersen, (13 January 1911 – 23 April 2005). He was the longest-serving and longest-lived Premier of Queensland, holding office from 1968 to 1987. His wife, Flo, herself a politician was reknown for her homely, old fashioned advice and recipes, including Pumpkin Scones, which she served to the Queen of England. (For more information on Flo, check out the Wikipedia entry.)
I actually had a request from Di at Di-licious Cupcakes, herself an excellent baker, to make some pumpkin scones and I'm only just getting around to it.
Flo's Pumpkin Scones
(from Classic Country Collection by Flo Bjielke-Petersen)
1 tbs butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup cold mashed pumpkin
2-2.1/4 cups self raising flour
milk for brushing
- Beat together butter, sugar and salt.
- Add egg, then pumpkin. Beat well.
- Finally, stir in very gently, by hand, the sifted flour until just combined. (Do not over work dough as scones will turn out very tough.)
- Turn onto floured work surface, flatten dough to approx 1" thickness and cut using scone cutter or cut into squares with a knife, as I did. (I prefer that more square look of a scone.)
- Place close together on baking tray (this will assist with the rising), brush with milk and bake in a preheated 225 deg C (435 deg F) oven for approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
I prefer my pumpkin scones with just butter or butter and jam. Scones in Australia are traditionally served in the form of a Devonshire Tea with whipped cream and jam at morning or afternoon tea time.
So, don't throw out that last bit of mashed pumpkin or if you have pumpkin going bad in your refrigerator, don't throw it out. Boil it, mash it, whack it in the freezer and make yourself some beautiful, soft fresh pumpkin scones.