The Great Australian Bake Off

Maggie Beer has taken scones to a new level with the addition of pumpkin and homemade butter. Afternoon tea is served!


  • Pumpkin mash

  • 500g butternut pumpkin, about ½ small

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons verjuice

  • Butter & buttermilk

  • 300ml pure cream

  • Scone dough

  • 425g self-raising flour, plus extra to dust

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 nutmeg, finely grated to ½ teaspoon

  • 65g pitted dried dates

  • 1 teaspoon Australian pink salt flakes

  • 200g crème fraiche

  • 1 free-range egg

  • 100g mashed pumpkin

  • 75ml ginger beer

  • 75ml homemade buttermilk


  • 1.

    Preheat the oven to 230°C.

  • For the pumpkin mash:

  • 1.

    Line a 20cm round sandwich pan with a round of baking paper. Peel and deseed the pumpkin and cut into 2.5cm cubes.

  • 2.

    Place 180g of peeled and cubed pumpkin onto the prepared pan, drizzle with olive oil and cook for 20 minutes, pour over the verjuice and cook for a further 10 minutes or until pumpkin is tender.

  • 3.

    Transfer to a small bowl and mash with a fork and cool over an ice bath until chilled. You will need 100g for the scone dough.

  • For the buttermilk and butter:

  • 1.

    Pour cream into the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment and bowl guard.

  • 2.

    Whisk on high for 5-10 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally to ensure your cream over whips evenly. The buttermilk is ready when the liquid separates and the butter solids are firm.

  • 3.

    Layer 4 sheets of muslin cloth into a sieve with overhang.

  • 4.

    Place over a medium jug and pour the liquid and solids through the muslin to separate the buttermilk from the butter. Scrunch the top of the muslin together and squeeze out any extra liquid.

  • 5.

    Keep the butter in the muslin draining in the fridge and reserve 75ml of buttermilk for the scone dough.

  • For the scone dough:

  • 1.

    Line a 28 x 35cm biscuit tray with baking paper. Sieve flour, ginger, baking powder and nutmeg into a large bowl.

  • 2.

    Finely chop dates whilst sprinkling a little flour on your chopping board to help them not stick together. Sprinkle dates into flour mixture with salt.

  • 3.

    In a separate bowl, hand-whisk the crème fraiche, egg and 100g cooled mashed pumpkin. Add ginger beer and buttermilk whisk until just combined. Make a well in the centre of the flour and fold in the wet mixture using your fingers, just bringing dough together; the dough will be sticky.

  • 4.

    Turn out onto a floured surface and press to form a rectangle pat the dough to approximately 2.5cm-thick piece of dough, dip a 6cm plain round cutter into flour and, cut 12 rounds from dough, using excess dough as necessary.

  • 5.

    Place the scone rounds onto a tray lined with baking paper, making sure the scones are almost touching (2mm apart) to help rise evenly, lightly dust with flour. Bake at 230?C fan-forced for 14-20 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly on a rack before serving.

  • To serve:

  • 1.

    Remove butter from the muslin cloth and place in butter dish, place the warm scones and butter in dish on the serving plate.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (12 servings)

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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Makes 12 scones with homemade butter.

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