Candied Beet & Pumpkin Scones

look at those flakey layers of goodness

I love, love, love seasonal baked goods.  Rhubarb crisp in the spring, colorful berry cakes on the fourth of July and apple tarts in the fall.  I especially love seasonal baked goods that can incorporate vegetables.  I mean who doesn’t want to get a serving or two of daily vegetables through a tasty pastry treat?  Make these for breakfast tomorrow!  Or bring them along to Christmas Day and make your family really happy!

candying beets


Candied Beet & Pumpkin Scones

Takes 1 to 1 1/2 hours
Makes 10-15 scones, depending on size

Scones, like all good breakfast-y, pastry-like baked goods, do not have a great shelf life.  I would recommend eating them within a couple days of when they are made (preferably five minutes after you pull them from the oven).  If you want to prepare them in advance, I would recommend preparing the dough, then wrapping it in plastic wrap and freezing it  until ready to bake.

Candied Beets:
4-5 beets (about 1.5 pounds)
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

4 ½ cups flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons butter, cut into ½-inch chunks
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree (or two cups homemade pumpkin puree)
1-3 tablespoons heavy cream, if necessary

Candy beets:
Begin the process, by peeling beets and then cutting them into small 1/2-inch pieces.  Place the prepared beets in a medium saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until tender, about fifteen minutes.
Drain beets and pour into a large saute pan.  Add butter, sugars, lemon juice and water.  Bring to a simmer and then reduce to low.  You want the sauce to reduce very slowly.  If the mixture is too hot, the sugars can burn.  Let the mixture simmer on low for twenty to thirty minutes until very little liquid remains and the beets are soft and sticky.  The sauce should coat them uniformly.
Prepare scone dough:
Mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.  Toss in your cubed butter (the colder the better), stir a few times to coat and then combine with a pastry blender.  You want to make sure the butter is well integrated, but do not need to worry if it is very chunky and uneven still.  The more chunks of butter, the flakier the scone.  I like to use the pastry blender for about a minute and usually have pea-sized chunks of butter remaining in my mixture.
Add the pumpkin puree and stir until just combined.  Add the candied beets and all the excess liquid from the pan (it should not be much) and stir only once or twice.
Knead the dough in the bowl once or twice to form one mass.  If your dough will not easily come together, add up to three tablespoons of heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time, until it forms a nice firm dough.  It should be very dense and not at all fluffy. It is very important not to overwork your dough.
Turn your dough out onto a well-floured surface. Roll or pat it down so it is about an inch and a half thick. With a cookie cutter, biscuit cutter, upside down glass or knife, cut out biscuits and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes, until bronzed at the edges. Remove from oven and enjoy immediately!


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