vegan pumpkin + currant scones


I can't stop with the scones these days. Okay, fine: can't or won't, that's the real distinction and to be honest, it's probably a little bit of both. There's just something so right about scones. They're sweet-ish, flakey, a welcome vehicle for jam. I'm into anything that will be friends with jam.

And even though there are scones and then there are scones, this is a morning pastry that responds well to being vegan-ized. Since the traditional recipes typically call for chilled butter and cream, it's a no-brainer to swap out that nonsense for a vegan margarine (I try to find ones that are either soy-free, organic or both) and a non-dairy milk. Easiest thing you've done all day, I promise.

So since I still had a stray can of pumpkin tucked away in our cabinets and a few (okay more than a few) currants left from a rigorous day of holiday baking, I decided to go with a pumpkin-currant combo. A word about currants: they rule. Raisins will do, and while I am the furthest thing from a raisin-hater, I will strongly suggest that you opt for currants in this recipe. Why? They've got a little zip, they intensify as they bake, and they will add a little needed bite of sour to the sweet-spicy pumpkin-ness.

But like I said, raisins will do. Got it? Let's go.

For this recipe you will need:

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled vegan margarine, cut into small cubes
3/4 cup pumpkin purée
1/4 cup almond milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup currants

Begin by preheating your oven to 425 degrees. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together your flour, baking powder, brown sugar, spices and salt until evenly combined, about 10 pulses. Add your chilled margarine and pulse another 10 times until you've achieved a coarse dough and there are no visible lumps. Transfer your mixture to a wide bowl. Fold in your currants and then form a well in the center of your ingredients.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together your pumpkin, almond milk and vanilla extract. Pour your liquid into the well in your dry ingredients and quickly fold in until your dough comes together. Transfer your dough onto a well-floured surface and quickly shape into a flattened round about 1 to 1 1/12 inches thick.

Using a pastry cutter or serrated knife, cut into triangles and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes (rotating halfway through) or until lightly browned at the top and on the edges.

We had these on New Year's Day. Because you want to start off the new year right, right? I don't know how you could do it better than with a vegan scone. That's also topped with a little gold sanding sugar, because that's pretty much what a new year is all about, all things gleaming in the light of gold (sugar).