Pumpkin & Maple Syrup Scones


I am applying to become a British Citizen. After living here for 20 years, paying taxes and national insurance contributions, having four children and eating a hell of a lot of scones I figured it was about time. Luckily it doesn’t affect my American Citizenship. I can be both. Which I kind of am already, passport or not.

Recently the Government introduced a Life in the UK standardised test that must be taken (and passed) in order to become British. Unfortunately it doesn’t ask questions like who’s David Beckham (national hero), how many days in August does it normally rain (every single one) or do English people like tea (think that might be a yes).


No. They are a little harder than that. Although some of them are as equally as silly. After all what’s counts as “Britishness” or any nationality for that matter? Am I American because of how I pronounce tomato or am I British because I say “Loo” when I want to go to the toilet?


Well, here’s a sample of some of the questions from the UK Today: A Profile section of the test. See if you think any of them relate to your national identity. And if you are British already, hope you know the answers to them all!

1. In 2001 the population of the UK was nearly a) 56 million b) 58 million c) 60 million or d) 62 million
2. St Andrew is the patron saint of which country a) England b) Scotland c) Wales or d) Northern Ireland
3. The percentage of the population who attend religious services in the UK is a) 50% b) 10% c) 15% or d) 20%
4. Is the following statement true or false: The UK football team is very important to British people
5. The Grand National is a) a horse race b) a tennis tournament c) football match or d) cricket match
6. The Scouse dialect is spoken in a) London b) Liverpool c) Tyneside or d) Wales
And my favourite question of all, from the Changing Society Section:
7) What proportion of the population of Britain have used illegal drugs at one time? a) about a tenth b) about a quarter c) about a third or d) about a half

Hmmm…think I will stick to my own very special sense of national identity. That’s around 200 days of grey drizzle, Kate and Will on the cover of everything, the Glee Christmas episode in March and lots and lots of  scone eating. With my very own special spin on it of course.


Pumpkin & Maple Syrup Scones

250g spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
40g unsalted cold butter, cut into cubes
3 tablespoons maple syrup
200g pumpkin puree (I used tinned)
grated zest of 1/2 lemon

Preheat oven to 200c/400f/gas mark 6 and lightly grease a baking sheet.

Blitz the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and butter in the bowl of a food processor until it forms breadcrumbs (this takes a matter of seconds).

Add the maple syrup, pumpkin and grated zest. Pulse until it forms a damp dough. Again just a few seconds is needed.

Put the dough onto a lightly floured surface and very gently knead it out so it is flat and about 5cm thick. Do not apply too much pressure!

Using a 6cm pastry cutter cut out nine scones and place them on the baking sheet. Dust with a little flour and put in to the oven for about 12-15 minutes.

Serve with cream, butter, jam, marmalade, more syrup, honey…however you want.


And if you are dying to know the answer to the questions above, they are as follows:

1. c
2. b
3. b
4. False: there are no UK football teams
5. a
6. b
7. c
So how many did you get right?


25 thoughts on “Pumpkin & Maple Syrup Scones

  1. Well, I failed that test miserably. However, I can claim to drink tea morning afternoon, say “mum” (despite teasing from my American friends), and baffle my friends with words such as chesterfield and boot (not the shoe, of course).

    These scones look wonderful! I think they should grant you citizenship for these alone.


  2. Seems like you have spent most of your life in the UK so I guess it is about time.
    About 27 years?
    Loved your blog. Good luck on your test.
    Now you will be like your children, dual citizenships.


  3. Wow, love the photos too, and the scones are mouthwatering. But what is spelt flour? I’d say you must be a brit to use a word like that, not to mention “blitz the flour”.
    I watched the film, “Death at a Funeral.” Have you see it? OMG, I died laughing, and when that guy said, “Are you MENtal?” all I could see was you saying that.


    • Have not seen that movie. Pretty sure it isn’t out here yet. But yes MENtal is a well used word is this house. Mostly cause we all are. The funny thing is I don’t even know when I am being British anymore. Blitz now that is a word I would think was universal. So there you go. Spelt flour is a type of wholegrain. Good for you. Try it.


  4. Heather – you Benedict Arnold! I can’t believe you are trading in the glory of the Stars and Stripes for that tired old Union Jack. Well perhaps not trading it in, but turning it into some weird patchwork quilt, the kind you might see Oliver Twist sleeping under at Saffron Hill.

    But good luck with the test in any case. The pumpkin scones look great (kudos on the photo!) and I will make them with little US flags in them.



  5. Gosh, I got a bit more than I’d bargained on when I clicked your link ;-).

    I am doing my Life in the UK test in June and I am a nervous wreck. The questions are terribly ambiguous, and the stats swim before my eyes.

    I think I will make a batch of your scones, which sound amazing, and a pot of tea to keep me company while I pour over my study material!


    • Good luck on the test!! We will need it. I got some books from the Home Office to help my studies. Just got to remember all the facts & figures. Haven’t crammed for a test in many many years. Hope the scones help 🙂


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