Apple and Cheddar Scones

I’ve got a “to make” recipe list that includes at least 50 recipes. I’m always adding to it, and as I’m planning meals and baked goods for the week, I always refer to that list first. If often takes awhile for recipes to get moved to the top of the list, and it’s rare that I find a new recipe and make it immediately. But that’s what happened with these scones.  I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen on Friday, mixed them up that night, and baked them the next day for the perfect Saturday morning breakfast.

Apple and Cheddar Scones

It helps that I already had the ingredients in my kitchen. (Speaking of which, since when did heavy cream become a staple that I keep on hand? This cannot be good.) These are incredibly easy to put together, and the only time consuming aspect is baking the apples. They can be made immediately, but I wanted them for breakfast so I just kept them in the refrigerator and baked them this morning with no problems. And actually, I only baked two of them. I froze the rest so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat them. I’m planning on making them for a special breakfast when my parents come in a few weeks.

These lived up to every expectation I had, and I’m so glad I moved them to the top of my baking list. They are perfect for a leisurely Saturday morning breakfast, and they have big chunks of apples in them, which are healthy, so you feel better about eating a huge scone for breakfast.  I think baking the apples first must dry them out a little, and you’re left with a delicious apple taste and texture, without any of the traditional wetness that usually accompanies them. In short, I loved these, and I think you will too. :)

Apple and Cheddar Scones

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Apple and Cheddar Scones

Yield: Makes 6 generous scones

Ingredients:

2 firm tart apples
1 1/2 cups (6.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar plus 1 1/2 tablespoons for sprinkling
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt plus additional for egg wash
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 large eggs

Directions:

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

Peel and core apples, then cut them into one-sixteenths. (chunks, not slivers.) Placed them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake them until they take on a little color and feel dry to the touch, about 20 minutes. They will be about half-baked. Let them cool completely. (I placed them on a plate and refrigerated them to speed things up) Leave oven on.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Set aside. Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, along with cooled apple chunks, cheese, cream and one egg. Sprinkle flour mixture over the top and mix on low speed until the dough just comes together. Do not overmix.

Generously flour your counter top and place the scone dough on top of it. Sprinkle with flour. Pat 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 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 remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake until firm and golden, about 30 minutes. With a spatula, lift them to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.

Make ahead: Scones are best the day they are baked. However, they can be made ahead of time and stored unbaked in the freezer until you need them. Simply brush them with the egg wash and sprinkle them with sugar, and bake them still frozen for just a couple extra minutes.

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