Happy to finally see September arrive. Seems like this year, more than any other, I am looking for fall weather as kind of a saving grace. I have learned to dislike the summer weather here. The heat feels oppressive, the wind never ending, and I long for the blessings that fall brings, earlier and earlier each year. September still brings hot weather to the Southwest, but hot eventually turns to warm, and warm to cool. This month also brings the promise of cooler nights and crisp mornings, making the world a much nicer place.
September also brings to me my favorite season at home, for with cooler weather, our homes come alive with color and the outdoors are renewed with a fresh season of outdoor living. As the cooler temperatures extinguish the heat of summer, the days of air-conditioned, stuffy air are slowly replaced with days offering the tickle of fall breezes, the hint of that pungent outdoor air that I love, and scents of fall cooking and baking coming from the kitchen.
Ah, what’s not to like about fall’s effect in the kitchen, all spicy and fragrant and delicious?
Pumpkin Pecan Scones
Moist from the pumpkin, with just a hint of brown sugar sweetness, and topped with pecans, these scones are a good way to start the season.
3 cups flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
4 tbsp. cold butter, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tsp. pure vanilla
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup pumpkin, canned or fresh baked
1 tbsp. brown sugar, for topping
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
Milk or Cream, to brush top
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take the butter out and cut into small cubes. Place butter back in the refrigerator to keep cold.
In a medium bowl. whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin. Set aside.
In a small bowl, measure flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Stir with a whisk to lighten and combine. Add the cold, cubed butter to the mixture and using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles very coarse crumbs.
Add the wet ingredients to the flour/butter mixture, stirring just until combined, leaving the butter wholly undisturbed. The dough will be wet and sticky.
Flour a wooden board lightly, and turn the dough out onto the board. Gather dough together and using floured hands, knead lightly 3-4 times, just enough to pull dough together.
Place dough onto a silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet and pat into a 9 inch circle. Brush the top of dough with milk or cream. Sprinkle with brown sugar and chopped pecans, pushing both into the dough lightly. Score the dough lightly with a sharp knife (do not cut all the way through).
Place into preheated oven and bake for 18-24 minutes, or until golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack before serving.
Delicious served with butter, apple butter, or pumpkin butter, but moist enough to serve plain.