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Pumpkin & Feta Scones – International Scone Week 2016

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.

Pumpkin & Feta Scones with Recipe in the background

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?

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)

Pumpkin & Feta Scones with a Scone Cutter


  • 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


  1. Beat together the butter, sugar and salt.
  2. Add the egg and the cold pumpkin. Mix again.
  3. Stir the feta cheese gently into the mix then stir in the sifted flour.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

11 comments… add one
  • Francesca August 7, 2016, 9:58 am

    Good old Flo, still going strong. Do you know, despite the excess of pumpkin at home, that I have never made pumpkin scones. These look very tasty Fiona and would make a great afternoon tea.
    What is it about Queensland and right wing politicians though? The Joh days were bad enough, but the current batch are a real worry, quite possibly having far too much leverage in the Senate.

    • Fiona Ryan August 7, 2016, 11:46 am

      I have no idea. This little lefty struggles. I will say that Qld is probably an early warning system for the rest of the country, which over time is clearly heading more and more to the right (and over a cliff). I love pumpkin scones but only real ones, not those ones coloured yellow in bakeries. Why would you bother?

  • Sherry from sherryspickings August 7, 2016, 7:49 pm

    Good old Lady Flo and her pumpkin scones. I love the frozen chunk pumpkin you can buy these days. Makes it so quick. I like to roast pumpkin then scoop it out of the skin. Very easy. Hard to believe we had Jo for so long. We heard that he had been chucked on a plane back from America years ago. We were so happy!

    • Fiona Ryan August 9, 2016, 11:09 am

      It seems a long time ago now, doesn’t it? That’s why I was surprised to hear that Lady Flo was still going.

  • Sherry from sherryspickings August 7, 2016, 7:51 pm

    I mean we were on a plane when we heard he had the boot 🙂

  • Tandy | Lavender and Lime August 8, 2016, 5:01 pm

    What a great historical reference to your scones! Thanks for taking part, and your mom visited my blog 🙂

  • Gretchen August 9, 2016, 9:35 pm

    I love the feta with pumpkin. I have a bunch of pumpkin plants starting now and hope to have some pumpkins in a couple months. I’ll definitely be baking these scones.

    • Fiona Ryan August 15, 2016, 1:45 pm

      I know pumpkin can be a challenge in the US as many are grown just for carving and I think many people think it only comes out of tins. I hope your pumpkins are a success but you can always have a go with unsweetened pumpking puree (though you may want to reduce the other liquid).

  • Amanda (@lambsearshoney) August 13, 2016, 12:11 am

    Yum – I love anything with pumpkin, although I didn’t know I could buy it pre-cooked & frozen!
    And fancy Flo still kicking – I assumed she’d gone years ago!

    • Fiona Ryan August 15, 2016, 1:46 pm

      No, I didn’t know you could buy it frozen either. That means that in theory, you can cut, park cook and freeze it at home. Yes, Flo!

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