For as long as I can remember, my mom has sworn to me that apple pie tastes amazing with a piece of cheddar cheese melted over top. After making these scones, I’m inclined to believe her.
When you first bite into these, it’s like a flavor explosion. The dough is slightly sweet from the cider, and the cheese is nice and melty. There are a lot of textures going on, but it’s not overwhelming. The cornmeal gives the dough a great texture, and it’s so moist and fluffy.
I used this great local cider. It’s so delicious. I’m sure apple juice would be good too, but I think the cider really added something extra.
Apple Cheddar Scones
Baking: From My Home to Yours
1 large egg
1/2 cup cold buttermilk
1/4 cup cold apple cider or unsweetened apple juice
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely diced dried apples
Getting reading: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
Stir the egg, buttermilk and apple cider together
Whisk the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Drop in the butter and, using your fingers, toss to coat the pieces of butter with flour. Quickly, working with your fingertips or a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly. You’ll have pea-size pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pieces the size of everything in between - and that’s just right.
Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir with a fork just until the dough, which will be very wet and sticky, comes together. If there are still some dry ingredients in the bottom of the bowl, stir them in, but try not to overdo the mixing. Stir in the grated cheese and dried apple.
Still in the bowl, gently knead the dough by hand, or turn it with a rubber spatula 8 to 10 times. Then, because the dough is very sticky, the easiest thing to do is to turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface, pat it into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick and, using a dough scraper or a chef’s knife, cut it into 12 roughly equal pieces; place on the baking sheet. Alternatively, you can just spoon out 12 equal mounds onto the baking sheet. (At this point, the scones can be frozen on the backing sheet, then wrapped airtight. Don’t defrost before baking - just add about 2 minutes to the baking time.)
Bake the scones for 20 to 22 minutes, or until their tops are golden and firmish. Transfer them to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before serving, or wait for the scones to cool to room temperature.
some notes: These were done in about 15 minutes for me, and were quite overdone on the bottom, I might try using an insulated cookie sheet next time.