Saturday, October 13, 2012

apple and white cheddar scones.

Apparently, I have a lot of thoughts on breakfast.  I never realized how opinionated I was about the first meal of the day but I have begun to see that I have a lot of vices about it. I find that so many breakfast offerings are devoid of any real flavor which is why I have fallen hard for these apple cheddar scones.  These scones are heavenly – they remind you why sweet and savory is such a perfect pairing.  The roasted apples bring a level of complexity to the scone and the cheddar brings the perfect salty savory bite to the dish.  Some bites taste like a sweet breakfast food and other bites leave you feeling that this could almost be a lunch dish which means this makes the most perfect brunch dish ever.  I highly suggest serving it with scrambled eggs (of course) and perhaps a side of ham or bacon.  Oh, and a very large coffee. 

Apple and White Cheddar Scones

Depending on how many people you are cooking for, I would recommend baking 3 scones and freezing the other 3 (even though we probably could have eaten all 6).  You will want to freeze before baking them, and then when you do want them you can bake then frozen, they will just take another couple of minutes.  I also prepared the dough and formed them the night before and then baked them up that morning which works well for lazy Saturdays. 

2 firm tart apples, such, such as Granny Smith, Macoun, or Pippin (about 1 pound total)
1 ½ cups (6.75 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus additional for work surface
¼ cup (2.2 ounces) sugar, plus 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons for sprinkling
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt, plus additional for egg wash
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ½ inch cubes
½ cup (about 2.25 ounces) sharp white Cheddar, shredded
¼ cup heavy cream
2 large eggs at room temperature

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Peel core and dice each apple into large cubes (should get about 16 cubes per apple).  Place the apple pieces in a single layer on the baking sheet.  Bake the apples until they take on a little color and feel dry to the touch, about 20 minutes.  Transfer the apples to a bowl and let cool.  Leave the oven on.

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper and set aside. 

Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Add the apples, Cheddar cheese, cream and 1 of the eggs.  Sprinkle the flour mixture over the butter mixture and mix on low speed until the dough just comes together.  Do not overmix. 

Generously flour the work surface, place the scone dough on it, and sift a light layer of flour on top.  Use a rolling pan to gently roll the dough into a 1 ¼ inch thick, 6 inch circle (or you can make a rectangle shape which is what I did).  Cut the circle into 6 wedges and transfer the wedges to the baking sheet leaving at least 2 inches between each scone. 

In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg with a pinch of salt.  Brush the apple scones with the egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons of sugar.  Bake on the center rack until firm and golden, about 30 minutes. With a spatula, lift the scones onto a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.  Then serve warm.  

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