Pumpkin Spice Toaster Oven Scones and Wok Parathas

April 17, 2013 by MaryAnne

IMG_1907

 

Given that it’s already, oh, mid April and the skies are light and fluffy and sometimes blue, and temperatures have already soared into the high 20s and it’s definitely shirtsleeve weather, I fear that the title of this one is a terrible misnomer.

It isn’t though. I’m just a terrible, terrible procrastinator.

[ETA: I've just edited the title so it's less confusing! It used to be visibly part of the Eating My Way Through Winter series; now it's just in the category]

You see, this has been in my drafts folder since last November.

My drafts folder, I might add, is ridiculously plump with unfinished posts.

This one? This is actually the third time I’ve hauled it out to write up. The previous two attempts were just me going on in really vague terms about how crappy I was feeling and how hard it was to write about pumpkins without letting my malaise seep into the text.

Which is tedious as hell to those who are not emotionally invested in my life.

Like, all of you.

The pumpkin scones themselves were baked, photographed and eaten about two months ago.

I was going through a rather brutal and cataclysmic change in my life at that point, which I dealt with through lots of creative experimentation with pumpkins and squash.

See the size of the ones you can get at the market up the street? The one in the photo below is the size of a small toddler.  You have to really whack at it ferociously with a massive cleaver to cut it into roast’able rings. That one made a ton of scones, parathas, curry, mash, fritters, and hash.

I roasted it in slices, ring by ring, rubbed with olive oil and whatever spices took my fancy. The paneer curry spice mix my aunt sent me ages ago was my favourite. My Moroccan blend from a spice shop in Fes was also amazing.

 

IMG_1882

Would you believe, this thing cost me about a buck in the market…

 

I’m doing much better now and so don’t need to rely on the catharsis of hacking up a poor defenseless gourd to feel at least somewhat sane.

I am, however, still buying smaller segments of gourd from the market and making wok parathas to go with whatever soups or stews or random leftovers find their way into the fridge.

I don’t normally do two recipes in one post but I figured I might as well in this case. After all, you just need to roast up some pumpkin and, lo! You have the makings of two really awesome- and yet not at all the same- quick breads!

 

Let’s just start with the base: that massive orange gourd which may be a pumpkin or may be a squash, but I’m not actually certain. My literacy skills aren’t up to snuff enough to decode the characters for those.

 

I hacked off about a pair of 2cm thick rings from a gourd that had the approximate circumference of a person’s head. I have no idea how many cups or grams it was. The scone recipe called for 1/2 cup of canned puree. The paratha recipe is more about proportions and texture rather than measurements. Roast up a big wodge, if you fancy. You can always use it up. It certainly won’t go to waste.

First, cut off the peel, including the pale inner rind. It’ll be hard to mash up if you don’t. Don’t forget to scoop out the seeds and sludge.

 

Here’s one of the gourds I hacked up for roasting. This is actually 2 rings of sliced pumpkin, cut in half and lined up in a row for dicing.

 

Next, toss it all in your favourite spice blend and some olive oil.

 

I used this one and it was lovely

 

Roast it all in the oven until soft enough to mash.

I let mine go for about 40 minutes on 180C. I should note that I use a rather inconsistent toaster oven so if you have a real one, you will need to adjust accordingly.

 

IMG_1889

Mine looked like this after I roasted it

 

Alternately, you could pan fry it until soft.

I did this a few times as an experiment and it was really good, but I prefer the taste of it roasted.

 

IMG_1887

Wokked gourd!

 

This is the roasted pumpkin, below.

See how awesome that looks?

 

IMG_1902

You could eat them like candy, I swear.

 

When cool, mash those suckers.

 

IMG_1903

I have officially moved up in the world and am now using a real spud masher instead of my old standby, the puny fork

 

See? Mashed gourd! No need for canned pumpkin here!

 

IMG_1904

Please pardon the hair. I was too busy mashing pumpkin to tame it.

 

Right then. You have mashed orange stuff. Grand.

 

Now for the scones.

 

The recipe originally was gleaned from here.  I am indebted to them for it. These are wonderful scones.

 

The Ingredients

 

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup and 3 tablespoons granulated sugar (I used dark brown ginger-infused Chinese sugar)
    • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
    • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (I used… well, you can guess what I used)
    • 3 tablespoons half-and-half (I used full fat coconut milk)
    • 1 large egg

 

 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F/220C. Hot!

 

If you have a baking sheet (I don’t), line it with parchment paper and set it aside. I used the drip tray of the toaster over with a length of lightly oiled tin foil wrapped around it.

 

Unfortunately, this recipe got a bit messy and I wasn’t able to take pictures until nearly the end as I was coated in a thick layer of  flour and butter.

 

What to do

 

Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.

 

Add the butter in little chunks to the flour mixture.

 

The recipe says to mix it in with a food processor but I have no such thing. I used my fingers to rub the butter into the flour until it was fully distributed throughout. It should end up with a texture a bit like cornmeal, but with little pea-sized nubbins of buttery goodness scattered throughout.

 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, creamy liquid of your choice (I recommend the coconut milk) and egg.

 

Gently fold wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and form the dough into a ball.

 

This was my dough ball, below.

 

IMG_1893

This was my first chance to take a photo without clogging my poor phone with fat and pumpkin and flour.

 

Tip it out onto a nicely floured surface and pat it into a cohesive ball.

 

IMG_1894

Dough ball before the patting.

 

Form it into a lovely circle about an inch and a bit high. Pretend it’s a clock and cut it into 12 triangles. I made only 8 triangles because I really wanted massive slices of scone.

 

Place on the prepared baking sheet (or oily foil-wrapped drip tray or whatever). Bake for 14-16 minutes. Mine needed the full 16, probably because the oven has a hard time keeping it heat.

 

Let them cool on a wire rack so the bottoms don’t get all soggy.

 

Eat with a ton of butter and jam. I heartily recommend President’s Choice bacon marmalade if you can track it down. I hauled mine all the way from Canada last summer.

 

IMG_1907

The scones, before I ate them all

 

The Parathas

 

This is one I made up, because I had an unfinished bowl of mashed pumpkin glaring at me every time I opened the fridge. I didn’t have the energy to spend the afternoon blending butter into flour for scones so I decided to rework my old wok chapati recipe.

This is the same and yet totally different.

 

photo

Yes, parathas make an excellent snack on Chinese trains!

 

You need:

 

  1. Er, mashed roasted pumpkin. I’ve also done it with roasted garlic mashed into the mix.
  2. Enough flour. Maybe a few cups?
  3. Some salt. Maybe a teaspoon.

 

I’m being difficult here.

Not on purpose, mind. It’s just, as I noted above, all about proportions. And your flour might have a different consistency or your mash may be wetter or dryer. It depends.

 

Start with about 2 cups of mashed gourd.

 

Put it in a bowl that will accommodate it plus the flour you’re going to add. I recommend a mixing bowl, cake batter sized. Ignore my tiny one, below. I had to move it into something much bigger.

Add the tiny bit of salt. Stir.

Start spooning in flour a bit at a time, stirring it in until it’s totally mixed in.

 

IMG_1891

Just keep adding flour until you stop adding flour…

 

Then keep adding flour and mixing it in until, well, it’s all the consistency of dough.

At some point, once it starts reaching the full-on dough stage, you’ll need to trade the spatula in for hands so make sure they’re nice and clean.

What you’re looking for is a dough that is soft and malleable but no longer sticky. Think fresh pasta or tortillas. If you give it a quick trial knead, it shouldn’t leave little sticky orange pumpkin stains on your counter top. If it’s still sticky, keep adding a dusting of flour until you can comfortably knead it.  Then knead it for a few minutes until it’s lovely and smooth and resembles a baby’s bottom.

Form it into a nice little dough ball and let it rest in a ziploc baggie in the fridge at least an hour. I usually let it go over night. It can last up to about 5 days (or longer- I’ve always used it all up by then). It gets more glutinous and elastic as the days pass so I recommend leaving some of the dough for later as it’s well worth the wait.

 

Cooking the parathas!

 

photo-1

Aren’t they lovely?

 

Get out your wok. These can be made with or without oil so make sure the wok is already well-seasoned. Preheat it on lowish on a gas stove. I don’t know about electric ones. Just the centre flame. Anything else seems to burn the paratha before it’s cooked.

Oil it if you want. I found that Sichuan peppercorn infused soybean oil is remarkably tasty for this one. Use about a table spoon, if you do.

Pull off a golf ball knob of dough and roll it out into a thin disc on a floured surface. With floury hands, pick it up and let it be stretched a bit more by its own weight, rotating it like you’re a pizza chef in an old skool movie about Naples. You want it to be thin, but not stretched so much that it breaks (obviously).  2 or 3 or 4 millimeters is good.

Toss it into the wok, and after giving it 20 or so seconds so get its bearings, give the wok a bit of a shake, like you’re about to flip a crepe. You just want to make sure the paratha isn’t stuck.

Cook it on the first side until little brown bits show up on the bottom. Get the egg flipper out to check for those. It takes about a minute.

Flip it. Wait about a minute. Bubbles will start to appear on the surface. This is good. You want bubbles. These make the parathas light and airy rather than heavy and dense.

Give it a flip back onto the first side, let the bubbles form again, and remove from the wok after about 20 or so seconds. Place cooked parathas on a clean tea towel to cool. If you put them on a hard surface, like a cutting board, they’ll sweat and get sticky and gross.

Repeat as needed.

 

For more details on working with wok flat breads, see my tortilla tutorial here.

 

IMG_1878

This one was topped with home made yogurt and sauteed Chinese greens with garlic. Phwoar.

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Wok me all night long!

6 Comments »

  1. Opal says:

    Those look YUMMY!

  2. mjskit says:

    Welcome back! Glad to see that you’ve found your way from the gray and gloom. That’s a huge gourd! The size of a small toddler. What to do with all that pulp? Well, you’re off to a great start with the scones and paratha. Pumpkin paratha sounds very interesting and both of these recipes sounds delicious!
    mjskit recently posted..Thai Tea Apricot SmoothieMy Profile

    • MaryAnne says:

      It’s good to be back. We’ve got about 2 months left in China and i’m hoping to cram in a few more recipes before we leave. It’ll be weird shifting everything again after nearly 5 years here…

      Also– The pulp was remarkably minimal, as the pumpkin was a lot longer than it was round!

  3. I’ll bet those pumpkin scones are grand with the flavorful dark brown sugar and spices in addition to the roasted pumpkin! They sound like perfect comfort food, which was probably just right for all you were going through when you cooked them. I’m glad you are feeling better now.
    Mary@FitandFed.net recently posted..Cauliflower StroganoffMy Profile

  4. Jessica says:

    These look great! I have never cooked with gourd before, but this looks like a great recipe to start. Thanks!
    Jessica recently posted..Shot FlaskMy Profile

  5. Hey MaryAnne,
    Great recipe indeed. Here in India paranthas are loved by everyone, but this twist is so unique. the presentation is so lovely. These are really mouth watering and healthy too. I will surely try this at home.
    thanks! :)
    aakanksha soni recently posted..Wheat garlic crackers (Garlic Mathri) RecipeMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge