In 2006 I took a major leap of faith and left my corporate job to pursue my dream of going to culinary school. While I was in school, I worked part-time at the cutest little gourmet food store called La Pomme de Pin. I was so excited that someone was actually going to pay me to cook! The owner was near my age and had gone to culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, so I was very excited to work with and learn from her. We spent our days baking tarts and scones, making soups and sandwiches and talking about everything under the sun. By the end of my time working for her, we knew pretty much everything there was to know about each other. Now eight years later (how is that possible??) the store is closed and Erin is living in Australia with her husband and three boys. I finished culinary school, had a daughter and now have a full-time job running the test kitchen for a one of the world’s most beloved brands. Life has changed a lot for both of us since then but I’ll never bake or eat a scone without thinking of those days in her warm, sun drenched kitchen.
This recipe uses a lot of butter and buttermilk instead of heavy cream to combat the dryness typically associated with traditional British scones. These factors produce a very soft dough that is more like a batter. It’s messy and will stick to your hands but that’s ok because you’re about to bake the best scones you’ve ever had. Go with it.
If you don’t have a food processor you can use the paddle attachment of a stand mixer or simply use two knives by crossing them in the center of the bowl, like scissors, pulling them away from each other and repeat until the butter is cut into the dry ingredients.
Do not overwork the dough. I can’t stress thisenough. If the butter melts in the dough before it gets into the oven you will end up with a tough, dense scone.
- 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup sugar
- 2¾ sticks cold butter, cut into ¼-inch cubes
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup cold buttermilk
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the glaze:
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 3 to 4 tablespoons milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Position your oven racks so that one is in the center, and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Dump the dry ingredients into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, and pulse to mix.
- Add the butter to the bowl, and pulse until there are no chunks of butter left and mixture looks like moist crumbs. Be very careful not to overwork the flour and butter. Remove the blade from the food processor, and dump the crumbs into a large bowl.
- In another, small bowl, whisk the eggs to break up the yolks. Whisk in the buttermilk, pumpkin puree and vanilla.
- Pour the wet ingredients on top of the flour mixture. Stir until the mixture just comes together. You don't want to overwork dough otherwise the scones will be tough and dense.
- Use a ½-cup measuring cup to measure out the batter. Place onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between the scones. Place the baking sheet back into the fridge for 20 minutes to chill.
- Remove the baking sheet from the fridge and place on the center rack in the oven, and bake the scones for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and place it on a wire rack and let the scones cool for a few minutes before drizzling with the vanilla glaze.
- For the vanilla glaze:
- Place the sugar in a medium bowl and slowly stir in the milk and vanilla to make a smooth, pourable glaze. If the glaze is too thick, add more milk by the ½ teaspoon full or until you've reached the desired consistency.