International Scone Week 2016 coincides nicely with a recent dilemma I have been having. That of, excess pumpkin. Pumpkins are well and truly in season so it’s not uncommon to arrive at work to pumpkins sitting in the kitchen with a ‘please take me’ sign. If you do take a whole pumpkin, then there is the issue of what to do with it all once you’ve cut it. As I said, #ISW2016 could not have been more perfectly timed, allowing me to make these Pumpkin & Feta Scones.
Don’t You Worry About That
Those of a certain demographic may recall Joh Bjelke-Petersen, a well known autocrat who was Queensland’s longest serving Premier for 19 years. Sir Joh (because unbelievably, he received a knighthood) was from good farming stock in the South Burnett Shire by way of NZ. Peanut farmer by day, scourge of heritage listed buildings by night. When quizzed by the media on just about anything, his standard response was ‘Don’t you worry about that’ or ‘Just you wait and see’. Let me tell you, we were all worried and waiting. His wife, Lady Flo, was well known for the work she did with the Country Women’s Association and for her contribution to Queensland’s culinary heritage in the form of the pumpkin scone. Her country cooking and her pumpkin scones in particular became legendary. As a result, she raised a good deal of money for charity by auctioning handwritten pumpkin scone recipes on Australian Senate letter head. This was because, in her spare time, Lady Flo was also elected to the Senate by the people of Queensland.
All joking aside, Lady Flo Bjelke-Petersen did what the wives of farmers do everywhere. She raised a family and cooked up a storm. In 1992, she produced a cookbook called ‘Classic Country Cooking’ and though it was snubbed by many, I have no doubt that it’s still at the heart of many cook book libraries throughout rural Australia. It includes recipes for standards such as Tuna Mornay and Savoury Mince as well as just about every item you would see at a fete cake stall. Of course, it includes the recipe for Pumpkin Scones from which this recipe is adapted. The book is long out of print but you may see it second-hand and I’d urge you to snap it up. As much as my inner left-wing teen rails against the Joh years, the book is a small piece of Qld history.
In researching this story I have learned that quite amazingly, Lady Flo is still going strong at the age of 95. You can’t keep a good CWA member down!
Excess pumpkin?… Don’t you worry about that! Before you head to the recipe, here are some other uses for that huge pumpkin you have just cut. Most recipes can be frozen after cooking, so you don’t need to feel you are constantly eating pumpkin for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Pumpkin & Tahini Spread – great for parties or when catering for a crowd
Pumpkin & Dahl Soup – a new twist on a classic dish
Pumpkin & Ricotta Gnocchi – pan fry or finish them in a baking dish with tomato sauce & cheese
Pumpkin & Pear Muffins – grated straight into the mixture
Pumpkin & Feta Scones
(adapted from Lady Flo Bjelke-Petersen)
- 2 x cups SR flour
- 1 x tbsp butter
- ¼ x cup sugar
- ¼ x tspn salt
- 1 x egg
- 1 x cup mashed pumpkin, cold*
- ¼ x cup feta cheese, crumbled
- Beat together the butter, sugar and salt.
- Add the egg and the cold pumpkin. Mix again.
- Stir the feta cheese gently into the mix then stir in the sifted flour.
- Turn onto a floured surface and pull dough together. Do not over knead. Cut into rounds or leave whole and cut into squares with a knife.
- Place on a floured tray and cook on the top shelf of a pre-heated, very hot oven (225 – 250c) for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Serve warm with butter or, though it may sound odd with a savoury scone, strawberry jam.
*I find the easiest and quickest way to make mashed pumpkin is to peel and chop the pumpkin and then cook it in the microwave. When it is cooked through, mash and set aside to cool. You can of course go the traditional route of boiling or baking.
International Scone Week 2016 is being hosted by my South African blogging buddy Tandy from Lavender & Lime. Head on over for some #ISW2016 inspiration.