It’s finally apple season! Both my children and I have done our best to make a dent in the local apple harvest over the last couple of weeks by chomping on several a day. Minnesota’s own Honeycrisp has become our household favorite, though we’ve eaten more than our fair share of Zestars, Cortlands, and Sweet Tangos. There are so many beautiful varieties available right now– both sweet and tart. For me, apple season arrives just in time. Aside from getting to take the kids out to the apple orchard for a nice Saturday event, it’s the signal that cool, crisp Autumn days are finally here. And, to be honest, it shows up just when I think I can’t possibly eat another berry. That’s one of the things I love about eating seasonally– just when I start to tire of one type of produce, another one comes along to freshen things up.
What you’re looking at is one of my favorites little treats– apple and white cheddar scones. Think about that for a minute– apples and cheese. Sweet and savory complimenting one another perfectly! My taste buds have been craving these scones every morning, but my jeans remind me that it maybe isn’t such a good idea. Moderation, right? These scones are nicely tender on the inside. While the firm, crusty exterior really gets that whole contrasting-textures thing right. Each bite starts with a nice crunch, followed by a perfect, melt-in-your-mouth center.
I like to use a nice tart apple variety for these scones. The recipe calls for white cheddar, though I’ve made them with regular cheddar and they’ve been just as tasty. Another convenient thing about this recipe is that it makes a fairly small batch– just six scones. Your jeans will be thankful for that. You’ll want to eat these scones soon after they come out of the oven. However, if you are unable to eat them all on the day they were made (this WILL NOT be a problem), just leave them out uncovered. They will retain a bit more of their crunchiness that way.
The Recipe: Apple and White Cheddar Scones
2 firm tart apples (about 1 pound, 454 grams), peeled, cored, and cut into sixteenths
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (195 grams)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (52 grams)
1/2 tablespoon baking powder (7.35 grams)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (1 gram), plus extra for egg wash
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (85 grams) chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup sharp white cheddar cheese (65 grams), shredded
1/4 cup heavy cream (57 grams)
2 large eggs (96 grams), at room temperature
2 teaspoons raw cane sugar (this adds a nice crunch, substitute granulated sugar if you don’t have any)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Position rack to center of the oven. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the cut apples in a single layer onto the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until they develop a little color and are dry to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool.
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.
Place the chilled butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the apples, cheese, cream, and one of the eggs. Add the flour mixture on top of everything and mix on low until the dough just comes together. Do not overmix.
Liberally flour a work surface and place the dough on it. Put a little flour onto your hands and gently flatten the dough into a 6-inch circle. Make sure the dough is even throughout, so that it bakes evenly. Cut the circle into 6 wedges and transfer them to a lined baking sheet.
In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg with a pinch of salt. Brush the egg wash onto each scone and sprinkle with the raw sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until they are firm and very golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!
Source: Adapted from Bill Yoses and Melissa Clarks’s The Perfect Finish Cookbook
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