In late September Matt and I ventured upstate to the Catskills to do some apple picking. I figured we would be reasonable about the whole thing and come back with a few handfuls of apples and we would mostly just eat them for breakfast, and then I’d have enough leftover to make one or two recipes, and that would be that. Why on earth did I think I could exercise any restraint? The very notion is laughable.
I/We did NOT have any willpower against the rows upon rows of beautiful apple trees that begged us to pick their luscious, firm apples. So pick and pick we did, and came home with an entire bushel and a half of apples. They lasted for three whole weeks, and I made many, many recipes with them, many of which were not blog-worthy! Some of them were, like this amazing salad. And this addictive ice cream. Also this cobbler and these fritters. And then I found a way to put apples in macaroni and cheese.
But let’s talk for a moment about the non-blog worthy dishes I made with these apples, as there were quite a few, and I’m sure you can relate to kitchen disasters. We’ve all had them, right? Right??
First there was an apple and parsnip soup that was pretty good, but someone didn’t photograph it, so it cannot live on the blog. Then there was the dish of crepes topped with apples and prosciutto, but I managed to burn the crepes a little. I also made an apple and pork ragout over pasta that did turn out well, but I was convinced it wouldn’t as soon as I got the ingredients into the pan, so I stopped taking pictures.
I made some brie pancakes topped with caramelized apples, which was a fantastic idea, but the brie to batter ratio was off, so I’ll have to attempt that one again with some tweaks. I made a delicious yet fantastically UGLY apple pie I spared you from viewing. Then I attempted a savory apple quiche, which had interesting and great flavor, but the egg filling seeped behind the pie crust so it ended up quite soggy on one side. And lastly, I attempted an apple crisp that sadly did not crisp at all.
But these scones… oh, these scones were possibly one of my best uses of those apples. They came out craggy and perfect, with complex flavor and the best scone texture you can imagine. I fully intended to do as I usually do when I bake, which is send some to my husband’s coworkers, who generally attack whatever baked good I’ve sent them like they are college freshmen cramming for mid-terms, but well, there were no scones to send them. You’ve been warned.
2 cups flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, well chilled
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 jalapeno, seeded, stemmed and diced
1/2 cup peeled, cored, diced apples
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
Place the butter into the flour mixture, and use a pastry cutter to work the butter into the flour until it resembles pea-size crumbs. Stir the buttermilk and egg together until the egg is beaten, then pour it into the flour-butter mixture. Add the jalapeno, apple and cheese, then mix the whole thing together with a spatula until well combined. Knead with your floured hands for one minute; I find it’s easiest to do this right into the bowl.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and flour your rolling pin. Roll the dough out to about a one-inch thick circle. Cut into eight pieces of pie. Transfer the scones to the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
Note: I often freeze my scones after they’re made, then pop them into the oven whenever I want them. To freeze them, follow this method:
Make the dough as directed up to the point where you have cut them into 8 pieces. Place those 8 pieces on a parchment lined plate and stick in the freezer. Leave them there for about one hour, or until frozen solid. Then transfer them to a large resealable plastic storage bag and lay the bag in the freezer. You do not need to thaw them before baking them. Simply place each scone on your parchment lined baking sheet and increase your cook time by 2 minutes.