Saturday, March 22, 2008

pumpkin scones by whisks, not flo

whenever people in australia think of pumpkin scones, they think of flo (bjelke-petersen). and never mind the politics of politicians, is there another politician's wife more well known for something other than herself than flo? the names of political wives are flying through my head at the moment - jill wran, tammy fraser, margaret whitlam - the list goes on, but i can't think of anything like the pumpkin scone which makes tham famous. odd isn't it? jill wran (or hickson, if you prefer) is a brilliant woman. i know she has an MBA from AGSM, but this still isn't as widely known as the pumpkin scone. oooh...i just thought of susan rossiter peacock sangter renouf....she's not famous for scones, but she was famous for a time (haven't heard much about her, but then i don't read the gossip magazines unless i have to, ie, at the doctor's surgery) for everything else but scones. she won't be part of my ramblings for another time....

who knows whether it was some cheeky media person who thought it was funny to publisize flo's pumpkin scones as something daggy about the bjelke-petersens, or whether it was some clever well oiled PR machine which thought they would cash in on the wholesomeness of the pumpkin scone and hence the bjelke-petersens' (political) wholesomeness. who knows? but mention pumpkin scone and flo's name pops up. she will forever be famous for the pumpkin scone and the pumpkins scone will be famous because of her. never mind who came up with the idea of putting pumpkin in a scone. flo and that orange coloured piece of baked dough will forever be entwined.

that said, i wanted to find out whether this thing called a pumpkin scone was really worthy of all its fame and glory. was it as good as all that? so i guess in all fairness the pumpkin scone has to be made and put through its paces.

this is the recipe i used:

250 g mashed pumpkin (I used more than this)
2 cups self-raising flour
pinch salt
20 grams butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten

preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius.
combine the pumpkin, salt, butter and egg.
add the flour (i don't bother sifting) and mix together with a knife, or in my case, i prefer to use a pair of chopsticks. yes, chopsticks....i know....but hey, it works for me and i think you should use whatever works for you.
mix until the mass becomes a soft dough, then turn it out onto a floured bench.
try not to knead the dough or knead it as little as possible if you must as kneading toughens scones.
sprinkle the top of the dough with a little extra flour and pat the dough until it is about 4 centimetres thick.
flour a 5 centimetre scone cutter, so the scones don't stick while you're cutting them and cut rounds of dough out and place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. place the rounds of dough right next to each other so they can support each other while they are baking.......isn't that sweet - scones providing each other with moral support? they bake better this way.
brush the tops of the scones with milk and bake for 10-15 minutes until they are golden brown.
split and butter. and top with whatever you fancy. because you can have these scones sweet OR savoury....with jam or ham, OR sweet AND savoury, with jam AND can have them however you wish
we spread ours with golden syrup.

verdict? yum. something simple given iconic status by a politician's wife. who would have thought?

by the way, this is flo's recipe, in case you want to try it:

1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup mashed pumpkin (cold)
2 cups self raising flour

beat together butter, sugar and salt with electric mixer.
add egg, then pumpkin and stir in the flour.
turn on to floured board and cut.
place in tray on top shelf of very hot oven 225-250c for 15-20 minutes.

i haven't made flo's recipe yet, but i think it's quite similar to mine except i don't have any sugar in mine.

and just so you know, i sit on the political fence, so don't think i sway either way. especially where pumpkin scones are concerned.

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