Monday, November 15, 2010

Apple and Cheddar Scones

I saw these and had to try them.
They're different, not overly sweet, but very good and very fall-ish.
They're nice for breakfast, or would be good for tea or with soup and salad for a lunch or dinner.

I was thinking about making them to take for a potential car ride "up north"... which is actually just Northern Missouri. I really wanted to go to a maize maze this autumn- the last time I went was in college, and I enjoyed it.

The first time we tried to go we didn't make it since we were rewarded with a flat tire. I had to pull off on a section of road that had just been re-paved. Not cool. Shoes were caked in an inch of tar, oil, and gravel. My face was attractively smeared with oil and tar (it itched, and I touched my face- what can I say?).

Well, the reason for this is that I'd tried to change the tire. I tried to be macho, but it didn't work in my favor. There are some things girls can't do. Changing tires really isn't one of those things, but loosening bolts on a tire whose bolts had been pneumatically tightened in the shop DOES happen to be one of those things.

Can't lie... I wasn't strong enough, I'm not strong enough. It doesn't matter if you know how to change a tire if you can't remove the bolts. It's not going to happen for you.

A nice man in a conversion van with his name tooled into the back of his belt (I wish I could remember what it was... was it Butch?) pulled over to help, and he sprayed our hands with WD-40 so we could clean them. Were there paper towels somewhere, or did we have to wipe our dirty hands on the grass? I can't remember, but I'm thinking we had to use the grass.

We were a motley and very dirty crew walking back into the dorm...

The second time we tried to go was a much more successful endeavor.

Anyway, if you've never been to a corn maze, they're pretty neat. From the sky they look like art in a field. Strangely, I remember there was a soda machine in the middle of this maze. A soda machine in the middle of a corn field. Yes, I thought it was strange at the time. Maybe people got lost and thirsty?

If this road trip happens, I plan to kidnap or cajole (pressure? blackmail?) some people to come with if I can still find one this year.
I'll make coffee too! I promise! This way we don't have to stop at a gas station for disgusting coffee that tastes like erasure and lead! Blech.
Believe me, it's a problem.

Back to scones.
I'm not an advocate for using a mixer when making scones. I think it needs to be done by hand for textural reasons in the finished product. Besides, it's not that much of an inconvenience!
Overmixing a scone dough (easily done with a mixer) will give you something that's much too stiff and of a rubbery/chewy consistency... not the melt-in-your-mouth flakiness you want for a good scone.

Apple and Cheddar Scones
(Slightly adapted from the blog Smitten Kitchen, who adapted them from The Perfect Finish)

Makes 6 generous scones

2 larger or 3 smaller Granny Smith apples (about 1 lb)
1 1/2 c flour
1/4 c sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
6 T cold butter, cut into chunks
1/2 c shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 c heavy cream
2 large eggs

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.
Peel, core, and cut apples into 1/16 chunks (8 slices, halved). Spread on a pan covered with a sheet of parchment paper, and bake about 20 minutes, until softened and a little colored. Remove from oven (leave the oven on!) and let apples cool completely.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Toss in butter chunks and using fingers, knives, or a pastry cutter, incorporate the butter into the flour mixture until it looks like coarse sand.
Mix the cream in a bowl or measuring cup with one slightly beaten egg.
Coarsely chop the apples, and add to the flour mixture along with the cheese, egg, and cream. Lightly fold the ingredients together, being careful not to overmix. The dough will not look or feel completely smooth- in fact, the texture of the baked scones will be better the less you touch, stir, and fold it. If it falls apart or crumbles a little, that's fine!
Pour the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a 6 inch diameter circle. Cut the circle into 6 triangles and arrange on baking sheet that has either been well greased or is lined with parchment paper. Make sure there is at least 2 inches of space between scones.
Beat the other egg with a pinch of salt and 1 t water. Brush the egg wash over the scones and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 25-30 minutes, until firm and deep golden brown. Remove the scones to a wire rack and let cool 10 minutes before eating.
Scones are best the day they are made.

No comments:

Post a Comment