Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May 24-25, 2011: Lady Violet's pumpkin scones

Us Queenslanders get a little homesick at this chilly time of year. A few of my workmates are fellow banana benders, one of whom agitated for a Queensland-themed afternoon tea on the eve of State of Origin. I don't care a fig for footy but have a long history of supporting snackage, so I signed up and started wondering what Queensland food even was.  Tropical fruit, XXXX beer and Bundy and Coke were all I could think of. Twitter helped me out, with meredith_te and HerbalGill reminding me that pumpkin scones have a close link with Queenland's (corrupt) political history, which has already been covered well by Veggie Mama.  (Meanwhile Johanna GGG asserts that pumpkin scones have a history of their own pre-dating Queensland's Lady Flo.)

Pumpkin scones were certainly part of my time growing up in Queensland. I associate them less with Lady Flo and more with my grandmother, who lived on a farm in the Lockyer Valley and often baked dozens of pumpkin scones just in time for morning 'smoko'. (I've written previously about my gramdma and her recipe for 'cow pats'.) These scones are sweeter and doughier than their British counterpart, and I was always just as happy to eat them with a smear of butter as I was lathering on the jam and cream. Grandma often added plump sultanas to the mixture - a variation that I enjoyed and my brother detested. I erred on the side of caution and left them out this time. They are, of course, just gorgeous straight from the oven and I discovered that they actually go stale quite rapidly. I suppose they always disappeared so rapidly at the farm that we never noticed! Even so, half a minute in the microwave can rescue a day-old scone and I hear they freeze well too.

I'm going to name this recipe after my grandmother here; it's always been hers to me.

Lady Violet's pumpkin scones
(based on the recipe found here, sent by Google-savvy mum!)

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup castor sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 1/2 cups mashed pumpkin, chilled
3 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder

Pre-heat an oven to 220°C. Line a baking tray with paper

Place the butter, sugar and salt in a large bowl and beat them together thoroughly with a fork.  Mix in the egg, then the pumpkin. Sift over the flour and baking powder and fold it through to make a dough - it will be quite sticky.

Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and sprinkle more flour on top. Form the dough into a large rectangle 3-5cm tall and use a glass to cut round scones from it, placing them on the baking tray. 

Bake the scones for about 20 minutes, until golden on top and cooked through.


  1. Yum! I love pumpkin scones. The one Queensland food I missed more than anything else while I was living in Canberra was Ginger Nuts. Arnotts have three different recipes they use for different states and the other ones are rubbish as far as I'm concerned.

  2. Scrumptious! My nanna, from rural Queensland, also made pumpkin scones, but I *think* she added some honey in her recipe.

  3. I'm so making these once the Emerging Writers' Festival is over.

    Can you tell me approx. how much pumpkin you need to start off with to get the 1.5 cups of mashed pumpkin?

  4. Pumpkin scones are regularly on our baking rota but I notice you use a lot more pumpkin than my recipe so maybe I should try it (though I can't even bare to add dates to mine because I love them as they are - even though I keep meaning to).

    I quite happily eat leftover scones for breakfast with peanut butter the day after I make them so was surprised to hear you say they go stale quickly - I find the pumpkin keeps them moister than regular scones - great dish for a brisvegas gathering

  5. Welcome, Amie! I had no idea that Arnotts varies their recipe amongst states - I must test them all out next time I travel.

    Duncan - honey's a foreign scone addition to me but I can't see the harm. And if your nanna's from Qld I'll happily consider it legit. ;-)

    Hi Meredith! Michael was roasting pumpkin for another purpose so I was lucky to just take as much as I needed. I think this corresponded to about half a butternut pumpkin.

    Johanna, there is indeed a lot of pumpkin here (and not much butter at all). Much as you know I love peanut butter, I've never thought to eat it on scones!