I love marathon Sunday in New York City; it’s all so inspiring. I mean, can you even imagine running 26+ miles in one go? Let me rephrase. Can you even imagine running at all? Right. Running isn’t my thing. Those guys are crazy…but amazing, none-the-less. My idea of a great marathon Sunday is basically a brunch on crack: something boozy, something delicious, and some sporadic yelling and hopping about. This year, a friend’s husband was running and my contributions to the potluck were these apple cheddar scones.
In my mind, in the world of breakfast pastries, scones are the kings. A bad scone is a dry, tasteless, brick-like travesty. But a good scone? A barely sweet, flaky, moist, buttery scone is a revelation. Smitten Kitchen posted these a few weeks back and they’ve been on my radar ever since. Like her, I’m not a huge fan of the apple-cheddar combination, but, as I’ve mentioned again and again, I do love a sweet/savory juxtaposition.
I was really shocked at how quickly these came together. Although I love scones, they aren’t something I make too often. They go bad quickly and just aren’t conducive to a one-person household. Particularly if said individual would probably eat them all in about 3 seconds flat. At any rate, other than the first apple-baking and cooling step, these took less than 10 minutes to make. Since I didn’t want to be rushed in the morning, I made them the day before, froze them, then baked them off in the morning. Now that I think about it, I suppose I could freeze them in the future and bake them one at a time for myself. Oooh. Dangerous thought.
So how were they you ask? Let me put it this way: a complete stranger with no reason to kiss my butt said they were the best scones he’d ever had. They’re that good. RIDICULOUSLY tender, just a tiny bit sweet, cheesy, but not too, with sweet, soft apple chunks. Love. Just….love.
Apple Cheddar Scones
Taken directly from Smitten Kitchen who adapted from The Perfect Finish. Yields 6 scones.
Need more than 6 scones? (yes, you do!) This recipe doubles easily. The recipe calls for tart apples, which would be great. I used Fuji ’cause they’re what I had. I also used yellow cheddar, though white was recommended, because, well… Queens. Honestly, I don’t think it matters a lick.
2 firm tart apples
1 1/2 c.all-purpose flour
1/4 c. sugar plus 1 1/2 T. for sprinkling
1/2 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
6 T. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
1/2 c. sharp cheddar
1/4 c. heavy cream
2 lg eggs
- Heat oven to 375°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment
- Peel and core apples, then cut into 16 chunks each
- Bake the apple chunks on the parchment-lined sheet for 20 minutes, or until slightly browned and dry-ish when touched. Cool completely (you can’t melt your butter!)
- Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a small bowl
- Place the butter, cheese, apples, cream, and ONE egg in the bowl of an electric mixer
- Sprinkle the flour mixture over the top of the other ingredients and mix on low until JUST combined. Mine came together very quickly. Don’t worry if there are a few butter chunks left-this is a good thing
- On a floured countertop, pat the dough into a 1.25″ thick, 6″ wide circle and cut into 6 wedges
- Place a parchment-lined baking sheet
- Whisk the second egg in a bowl with a pinch of salt and brush on the scones
- Sprinkle scones with the remaining sugar
- Bake approximately 30 minutes or until golden