Scones are one of the baked goods I’m most proud of accomplishing. I never ate them growing up, but first discovered them at Tartine Bakery in San Francisco.
Now, Tartine is not just your average coffee shop/bakery. They are not messing around. Their chefs studied in France and all that jazz and the painfully long line out the door and around the corner proves it. So, after eating that incredible french masterpiece in the form of a currant scone and I completely forgot about the line and knew what had to be done.
The main issue baking scones is that they can get dry and tough very easily. A dry scone has to be one of the worst things on this planet Earth, but these scones–these scones are not dry. These scones are rich and creamy and will explain immediately why you will never buy a scone from Starbucks ever again. I’m serious–don’t do it. I’ll ban you from this blog.
I was inspired by a recipe I’d read recently for apple cheddar scones from Smitten Kitchen, but instead of cheddar I used some creamy onion cheese, sold to me by a darling little Amish man at the Daley Plaza Farmers’ Market.
So I turned on some Paul Simon, got out my crappy camera, and baked my little heart out.
Apple and Cheese Scones
Modified version of Smitten Kitchen’s Apple and Cheddar Scones
Makes 8 scones
2 firm apples (sweet or tart will work as long as they can stand up to an oven)
1 1/2 cups 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 plus additional for baking sheet if not lining it with parchment
1/2 cup onion cheese (or you can substitute with really any sharp, melty cheese)
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
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. 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. (You can speed this up in the fridge.) Leave oven on.
Sift or 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. Use a rolling pin to gently roll (or use your hands to pat) the dough into a 1 1/4-inch thick, 6-inch circle. You can then cut circle into 6 wedges, or use a biscuit cutter as I did. 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 remaining tablespoon of sugar. I also added a small sprinkle of cheese because really, more cheese never hurts. Bake until firm and golden, about 20-25 minutes. Then eat, eat, eat.