i go slightly crazy over scones, you know (go see the section ‘scones, biscuits, tea time’ in my recipe index, it’s pretty obvious then). so much so, that a tea time at the fanciest hotel in zurich (it happened only recently) disappointed me slightly. and that’s although we didn’t even have tea for tea, but champagne. ha!
the thing is: you would assume a tea time includes scones, even – or even more so – at the best place, right? it’s like the pavlov’s rule: you hear tea time – you expect warm, buttery, flakey scones. and you start to dribble and drool. yup. so when there are no scones, but, instead, various, fancy-looking, bite-sized thingies (some of the diet kind… we’re talking raw fish on nothing), then, well, you can either throw yourself on the flor in a fit and bang your fists. not a spectacularly ladylike thing to do in a classy place (or any place, ahem). or you can sit upright, force a smile onto your face and just pretend you’re not only there for the scones, but that you actually are well mannered and a decent person and that you can still totally concentrate on the conversation on hand, even deprived of scones. which you can’t, of course. you will stare with blank eyes, longing for scones, and dream of better tea times, if you’re anything like me. and then, when the scones finally, unexpectedly, by the time, do appear, you want to scream at the waiters ‘this. is. not. funny! never. mess. with scones!”, grab as many scones as you can – and flee while you can.
alternatively, whip up a batch of these, and eat alone. it’s what the scones expect you to do.
ingredients: 350g pumpkin or butternut, peeled and cut up into cubes 2 1/2 cups flour (i found i needed 1 cup more, see directions) 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. black pepper 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped 1/2 cup buttermilk + more for brushing 1 egg yolk (i found that it needs an egg)
for the whipped goats cheese spread: 100g cream cheese (philadelphia) 100g goats cheese (chavrou)
directions: steam the pumpkin in boiling water (lid on). cook for 10 to 15 minutes until soft. drain, then set aside to cool and dry off in the air. blend in a food processor or with an immersion blender until smooth. note: the pumpkin mash should be rather solid and not very liquid / moist at all. if it is, like in my case, then you’ve got to use some more flour to make up for the excess liquid.
preheat the oven to 200 c / 400 f. mix the flour, parmesan, thyme, salt and pepper in a bowl. add the buttermilk, pumpkin puree and egg yolk to the dry mixture and knead with your hands until combined. turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly to form a dough. press the dough down to about 4-5cm and cut the scones using a round cookie cutter and place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. brush the tops of the scones with the extra buttermilk. bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes (mine took a little less because i made them very small) until golden brown.
for the goat cheese spread, simply combine the cream cheese and goat cheese in a bowl. you can also beat it with a mixer until you obtain a fluffy, whipped texutre. but i didn’t, because i’m lazy like that sometimes.