I have a pantry overflow shelf just inside the door to the garage. “What in the hell is a pantry overflow shelf?” you might ask. (In my mind you say it this way…with a slight twang—“Whaat. In the hail. Is a pantry overflow shealf?”)
Well….it’s the place where I put the extra cans and bottles and various and sundry pantry items that don’t currently fit in my adequately sized kitchen pantry. I’m Italian American. I buy extra amounts of items that my kitchen should never be without. I buy ingredients that look like they’d be good for a recipe I haven’t even dreamed of yet. I have a pantry overflow shelf…please don’t judge me.
There’s a can or two of Organic Pureed Butternut Squash on that shelf. “Why?” (Again…with a slight twang—“Whay?”) I don’t know. It’s pretty easy to just buy a butternut squash, cook it, and use it in recipes. I’d just never seen it canned. And, organic! Boom. In the cart. On the shelf. (It’s that easy. Try it. But, this time with a Northern Jersey accent. “Boom. In da cart. On da shelf.” See? You too can have a pantry overflow shelf.)
I’ve been eyeing that can for awhile. Thinking about what to do with it. And, the other day, snowed in, wanting scones, I grabbed it and started baking. I really had something more exotic than scones in mind for that can of squash. But, I was hungry and breakfast wasn’t going to make itself. And, scones are pretty quick and easy. Voila! Cherry Butternut Drop Scones.
They came out light and sweet and delicately, deliciously flavored. Butternut squash is not an overwhelming flavor but it provides a mellow undertone. I bet you could use pumpkin or sweet potato very easily in it’s place—they’re a little stronger in flavor but would be a good variation. After all, how many people have Organic Pureed Butternut Squash sitting on their overflow pantry shelf?
Cherries are, without a doubt, one of the most delectable of fruits. Visit Diane Elbin’s (The W.H.O.L.E. Gang) Friday’s Foodie Fix for more great cherry recipes. Oh yeah…check out The Sensitive Pantry’s Red Velvet Smoothie. Lip smacking cherry chocolate goodness for breakfast or a healthy dessert.
Cherry Butternut Drop Scones
¾ cup sorghum flour
¾ cup rice flour blend*
¼ cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
5 teaspoons Earth Balance
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons rice milk*
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup butternut squash puree*
Handful or two of dried cherries
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling
The Earth Balance, rice milk, and butternut squash puree are best if used cold but, if not, don’t let that deter you from making these on the spur of the moment.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Mix the rice milk, lemon juice, vanilla and squash puree together in a large measuring cup until smooth. Place it back in the refrigerator.
Place the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together until combined.
Cut the cold Earth Balance into small chunks and place on top of the flour mix. Cut the Earth Balance in with a pastry blender, two forks, or your hands until it’s well incorporated and has the consistency of coarse sand.
Pour the wet mixture into the flour and mix gently by hand with a curved spatula or spoon. Add the cherries and incorporate gently into the dough.
Scoop big spoonfuls of the dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar, place in the middle of the oven and bake for 16-18 minutes. The recipe should make about 12 scones.
I used Authentic Foods Multi-Blend Flour, which has xanthan gum as an ingredient. If you use another flour blend be sure it has xanthan gum in it or add xanthan gum to the recipe in proportion to the amount of flour you’re substituting (about 1/4 to 1/3 teaspoon xanthan per cup of flour).
You can substitute the rice milk with another non-dairy milk—coconut, hemp, or soymilk, for example. Also, if the milk is vanilla flavored or sweetened you’ll want to adjust the vanilla and sugar in the recipe slightly.
The Butternut Squash puree was similar to canned pumpkin puree. You can use pumpkin or sweet potato, if desired. Since not all purees will be the same you may need add a little more flour or milk to get the dough to right consistency. The dough should stand up easily when spooned onto the parchment lined cookie tray.