Savory Pumpkin Scones with Fried Sage Brown Butter Glaze

The other day I was lamenting over whether a scone is the same as a biscuit.

They’re both flaky. They’re Both similarly shaped. They’re both served for breakfast. They both taste the same.

So, what gives? Are they the same or not?

The answer: no. 

The only difference between the two: scones are made with eggs, biscuits are not. 

 That’s it.

The difference between a scone and a biscuit is an egg. 

I’ve never made scones before; in fact, I’ve never made biscuits before either. So I put my baking skills to the test and made some scones. I have an over-abundance of sweets in my house right now (cake, Blue Bell ice cream, Girl Scout cookies) so I didn’t want a sweet scone…what about a savory one? Mmmmmm. 

 I found this recipe from Food & Wine and tweaked it a bit. I adore Gruyere cheese, but I had goat cheese handy so I switched them out. 

As for the glaze: I’ve had some sweet scones with a glazey-icing on top of them so I thought to myself, “why not a savory glaze?” And created this with ingredients I had on hand.

A Frankenstein masterpiece!  

 Savory Pumpkin Scones with Fried Sage Brown Butter Glaze

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 10 leaves of fresh sage, sliced into thin ribbons 
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1.5 sticks), cut into small cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin purée
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 6 oz. goat cheese, crumbled 
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 8 leaves of sage
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Salt & pepper

1. First, chill butter pieces in freezer for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, pepper, paprika & sage in a large bowl. Set aside. In another bowl, beat pumpkin, milk & egg until well combined. Set aside.

2. Once butter is firm and chilled, cut it into flour mixture. You can do this by either using a fork or two knives (I used two knives). Cut in with flour until dime sized clumps remain. 

 3. Pour pumpkin mixture & goat cheese into flour mixture. Using a fork, toss mixture until it is well combined and a rough dough forms. 

 4. Turn out dough on a well-floured surface. Gently shape it into a round circle that is about an inch thick, maybe 8″ in diameter. Wrap in seran wrap and freeze for an hour until firm. 

 5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take dough out of freezer and using a cup or circle cookie cutter, cut out circle shapes or half-moon shapes in the dough. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and brush with milk.  

 6. Bake, on middle rack, for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and flakey. Meanwhile, make the glaze: in small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. With a wire whisk, stir constantly until butter foams and then subsides, and brown bits start to appear on the bottom of the pan (whole process is about 5 minutes). Remove from heat. In a small skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Fry sage for about 5 seconds until dark green. Drain. Crumble sage into brown butter, stir. Season with salt & pepper. Brush scones with glaze while still warm. 

 Skill Level: This recipe is pretty time-consuming, so I’d say the skill level is around medium. Not the hardest bread to bake, but not the easiest.

Flavor Profile: Holy smoked paprika, Batman! I had forgotten how much I love smoked paprika. That, along with the sage & pumpkin, made these scones very earthy and hearty. The goat cheese adds a tanginess that takes the scones to the next level. Combine that with the nutty brown butter glaze, and you have yourself a tasty scone. 

 Versatility: You can add or take out the cheese, if you’d like. Or expirement with different cheeses & different fresh herbs! A nice herbed chèvre would probably taste great in these scones. I like sage because it is an underrated and often forgotten herb. It’s fragrant & earthy, and always reminds me of the desert.  

 End Score: B+. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really a tasty recipe and you should try it out, but I probably won’t make it again.  

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