Apple Cheddar Scones

October 1, 2012

Fall is has always been my favorite season and living in the Northeast has made me appreciate these months even more. We recently went to a pick-your-own farm and these apple-cheddar scones were the first thing I made with my handpicked apples. They are wonderful; so delicious that scone-hating D even loves them (the cheese probably helps).

I’d never been apple picking until I moved up here and now it’s one of my favorite annual excursions. This time, we rented a zip car and visited Alstede Farms in Chester, New Jersey. So far, this has been my favorite Pick-Your-Own farm. I highly recommend going early on a week day if possible; we practically had the place to ourselves until noon.

I just saw on their website that apple season came early this year and that there aren’t any more apples to pick here. That’s a bummer…apparently the already-picked kind are still available in the market. Alstede Farms also has pick-your-own vegetables, pumpkins and wildflowers. We brought home some great produce, a fall bouquet and the perfect pumpkin. I thought the prices were super reasonable.

These are purple bell peppers. Aren’t they pretty? I think they taste a little milder and sweeter than green bell peppers and they’re my favorite color. The apple cider donuts here were awesome. I really wanted to climb on top of that hay stack and do a photo shoot but we didn’t have time. We did take a hayride ride around the farm.

I wish I could go apple picking every week…I turn into a 12 year old kid…

Back to the scones:

These scones don’t take too long to whip up. You just cut up some apples and stick them in the oven; while they roast, you can mix up all of the other ingredients.

I read this tip in the comment section of the blog that I got this recipe from: instead of cutting cold butter up into pieces, just grate it. It found it much easier to incorporate the butter into the flour this way (especially when mixed by hand).

The dough will be pretty sticky. You don’t want to over mix it or you’ll end up will tough scones. When all of the ingredients are combined, you form the dough into a disk and place it onto a well-floured surface.

After brushing the surface with an egg mixture, you sprinkle a little sugar on top. I added cinnamon, too. Divide the dough into triangular pieces and bake them up.

My oven is crazy. It also lacks a window. I even own two oven thermometer and it never bakes things according to recipes. I’ll print the original baking times and temps…but if you’re oven is ornery like mine, keep a close eye on these guys. I nearly burned my first batch to a crisp.

I’ve made these several times already because they’re so easy and tasty and so Fall. I like to make a half batch at a time because they’re really best the day they’re baked and don’t keep very well. You can also freeze the dough after you’ve shaped the scones and bake them from a frozen state (leave the egg wash off until you’re ready to bake them).

Apple Cheddar Scones

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Makes 6 large scones

  • 2 large firm tart apples (1 pound or 2 454 grams)
  • 1 1/2 cups (6.75 ounces or 195 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar (50 grams)
  • 1/2 tablespoon (7 grams) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (3 grams) plus additional for egg wash
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces or 85 grams)unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes plus additional for baking sheet if not lining it with parchment
  • 1/2 cup (2.25 ounces or 65 grams) sharp cheddar, shredded (I used white)
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) heavy cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling

Position a rack at the center of oven and preheat oven to 375 °F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut apples into one inch chunks (I didn’t peel them) and place them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake them until they take on a little color and feel dry to the touch, about 10-12 minutes. They will be about half-baked. Let them cool completely. Leave oven on.

Sift or whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Set aside. Using your hands or a wooden spoon, rub the cold butter into the flour mixture until it resembles a course meal and then add the cream, one egg, cheese and cooled apple chunks and mix until all of the ingredients are combined. Do not over mix.

Generously flour your counter top and place the scone dough on top of it. Sprinkle with flour. Use your hands to form the dough into a 1 1/4-inch thick, 6-inch circle. Cut circle into 6 wedges. Transfer them to a baking sheet that has either been buttered or lined with a fresh sheet of parchment paper. Leave at least 2 inches between each scone.

Beat remaining egg in a small bowl with a pinch of salt. Brush the scones with egg wash and sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar. Bake until firm and golden, about 30 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer them to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.

Enjoy them while they’re still warm.

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