Tis the season for my favorite seasonal foods

I can't say that I have always been a lover of pumpkin. When I was a kid, I didn't like pumpkin pie at all, except for it being a vehicle for whipped cream, which I did like. I also can't say that I am a new comer, just hopping on the pumpkin bandwagon now. 

Instead, like brussels sprouts and persimmons, I have been carrying on a love affair with pumpkin for a while, even before pumpkin was cool. When I first moved to San Francisco and knew little about trail running, I would get up super early on Saturday mornings to join a friend on a (still to this day favorite) loop on Mt. Tam starting out of Ross. Part of the draw for me and motivation for getting out of bed was knowing that afterwards we would be going to Woodland Market and there I would find (if we were lucky and early) a glorious pumpkin muffin (with none of that cream cheese stuffing crap I don't like). This was before I knew I was gluten intolerant, mind you, but I loved those muffins. And not just because they were muffins (as we know I am obsessed with muffins), because they were pumpkin muffins. I was all or nothing, if they were out of the muffins, I wouldn't get a muffin at all. It was then that I started loving pumpkin and incorporating it into more things.

Recently I have started putting pumpkin in my oats, making homemade pumpkin butter and dreaming of ways I can maximize my pumpkin consumption. Despite being a muffin freak, the idea of pumpkin muffins just wasn't speaking to me. Instead, I was dreaming of making pumpkin scones. Only problem is that my last few attempts at scones have ended up very average and often times with burnt bottoms. I did some research, consulted a few recipes and finally went to work baking. The results? Amazing. Moist and crumbly at the same time a way a good scone should be. Light and tender and without any "gluten free" taste (like the not so nice metallic taste). Delicious. I topped mine with more pumpkin butter. 

Gluten-free pumpkin scones: 
1 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup sorghum flour
1/3 cup tapioca flour
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground ginger
dash ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ cup honey
1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
6 tablespoons of butter, very cold
1/3 cup of almond milk, plus more for brushing
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
cinnamon sugar

Place a cookie sheet with parchment paper/silpat on top and place that cookie sheet on top of another cookie sheet. This is the secret to not burning the bottom of your scones! Took me a very long time to figure this one out.  Preheat the oven to 400F.

Pour the apple cider vinegar into the almond and set aside for about 10 minutes.

Mix all of your dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Cut the cold butter into small pieces and cut into the dry ingredient mixture with a knife or pastry cutter. Work until the butter is in small pea size pieces. Place bowl into freezer to keep cold.

In another bowl, mix your honey, almond milk/vinegar mixture, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract and blend well.

Remove dry ingredients from freezer. Mix the dry with the wet ingredients and, as the dough starts to form, use your hands to knead the dough a few times, until it is all combined. Do not overmix or overwork. You want the dough to stay cold and the butter in pieces.

Form a ball with the dough and place on the prepared cookie sheet. Flatten the dough into a circle, about an inch and a half tall. Place back into the freezer for 10 minutes. Wash the dishes, check your email, do something else. Keeping the dough cool is very important.

Remove dough from freezer. Cut the circle into 6-8 triangles, depending how large you want them. Slide them apart slightly. Brush the scones lightly with almond milk to smooth and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Bake at 400F for about 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Top with homemade pumpkin butter for a real treat.
(Recipe adapted from Wellsphere)