A couple weeks ago I was at a farmers’ market and I couldn’t help but stock up on winter squash. (Don’t blame me though…who could turn down a beautiful sugar pumpkin for $1?!) I also got a gorgeous, nearly four-pound butternut squash for under $2. And maybe the best part (even though it isn’t squash), was a huge (and I do mean huge…it was also almost four pounds!) rutabaga that I picked up for $1!
When you buy more than you can use, you’re basically at the point where a bargain is no longer a bargain. Luckily, this was not the case since all the things I bought are easy to process and preserve for later. (Even the rutabaga! I peeled it up, cubed it, flash froze it, and then packed it in freezer-safe containers for later use. But that’s a chat for later, right now we’re talking about that gorgeous butternut.)
Speaking of butternut, if you like pumpkin butter, oh boy do I have a treat for you today.
Pureed butternut squash tastes very similar to pumpkin puree, but I find butternut to be ever-so-slightly richer, sweeter, and nuttier tasting. I find that butternut also has a creamier texture and is a bit less stringy. Because of this, it stands to reason that butternut would make a superior butter. (Something very interesting, did you know that some manufacturers of canned pumpkin actually include a mixture of winter squashes along with pumpkin – perhaps for these very reasons? For more info on it, check out Canned Pumpkin: What is it Really Made Of?on The Kitchn. Incidentally, I remember when I was a kid my mom telling me about how most canned pumpkin products aren’t really 100% canned pumpkin…she was pretty outraged about it and would go out of her way to make sure she was purchasing a product that was only 100% pumpkin. This just made me think of that, lol.)
I bumped up the maple flavor in these scones by not only using pure maple syrup as the (subtle) sweetener, but also by using a little bit of maple extract. I’ve tried two brands of maple flavor/extract; a natural flavoring from Frontier Natural Products Co-Op and an imitation extract from J.R. Watkins. In my experience, the natural flavoring is less than $2 more, so if you can find it I would go for that one; if it isn’t available, I’ve seen the imitation extract everywhere (even at Walmart!) and it is still a pretty great product.
I served both the Butternut-Maple Butter and the Spiced Maple Scones as part of my Autumnal Afternoon Tea. This is my contribution to this month’s 5 Star Makeover – our theme is squash! A huge thank-you to Laz and Natasha for hosting the event!