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One thing I didn’t mention in my earlier post about pumpkin and prune cake (perhaps because I was too busy defending the use of prunes!) was how fabulously coloured pumpkin based batters and baked goods are. Very appropriately, given we are often eating pumpkin on cold dreary days, these scones are the most cheerfully, glowingly, sunny orange (or maybe gold?) colour so that you can’t help but feel happy when you look at them.

Another thing I did mention when talking pumpkin cake, is that I tend to bake a half pumpkin (or even whole) while I have the oven on (see here for method, minus seasoning and vegetables when using for cake obviously). This makes a pile of pumpkin puree that freezes easily and can be used for a range of cakes, scones, muffins etc. As you can see below, I made both these scones, and the pumpkin and prune cake, with this batch, and still had some for cornbread.

So, to the recipe. For most Australians (or those over a certain age at least) pumpkin scones are synonymous with Lady Flo. Lady Flo, more formally known as Lady Florence Bjelke-Petersen, was a Queensland premier’s wife, and senator, famous for her hospitality and pumpkin scones. Her husband, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen was a much more controversial figure, but I’ll leave him to the political blogs!

While I also like plain pumpkin scones, my sister suggested trying these with dates, and I have to say it’s a lovely combination. These are delicious just with butter, but you could certainly serve with honey or jam, though think about what fruits will go with dates ie fig or perhaps orange marmalade, rather than raspberry!

These are quite low in butter, so even though the pumpkin adds plenty of moisture, I would eat the same day, or freeze (preferably unbaked, and then bake when you’re ready to eat). As with the cake, the amount of pumpkin is flexible (anything from 150-250g should be fine), just add a little milk if using less.

Pumpkin date scones

Recipe adapted from the classic by Lady Flo 

  • 40g butter
  • 60g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ~200g (1 cup) mashed pumpkin (cold)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 75g dates
  • 150g self-raising flour

Beat together butter and sugar with electric mixer till light and fluffy. Beat in egg and then pumpkin.  Use a wooden spoon to stir in the flour, chopped dates, and salt until just combined.

Turn dough onto a floured board, pat or roll out to about 2cm thick, and use a 6-7cm round cutter to cut out 12 scones.

Place on a tray on the top shelf of a very hot oven (225-250C) for 15-20 minutes.

Remove from oven, allow to cool on a rack, and serve with butter.

Makes 12