June 27, 2012
In case you missed the recipe from the posts about our spring events where these biscuits were served, this really is a recipe worth trying! Baking with apples is a great way to use fruits from last year’s harvest that may be a little off from their long time in storage.
Savory and a little bit sweet, these are wonderful as a snack, served along a bowl of soup for lunch, with a chunk of cheese as an appetizer, or with a drizzle of honey for an unusual dessert.
- 2 pounds firm tart apples
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick + 4 T.)
- 1 teaspoon salt (6 grams) plus additional for egg wash
- 1/2 cup sugar (4 ounces or 113.5 grams)
- 1 cup (4.5 ounces or 130 grams) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) heavy cream
- 2 large eggs, plus 1 more for egg wash
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (sage, thyme, or chives, or a combination)
- 1/4 cup caramelized onions, chopped (optional)
- 3 cups (13.5 ounces or 390 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) baking powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar OR 1 tablespoon coarse salt (kosher or sea)
- Position a rack at the center of oven and preheat oven to 375° F.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats.
- Peel and core the apples, then cut them into small chunks. Placed them in a single layer on the baking sheets and roast until they are slightly softened and feel dry to the touch, about 20 minutes. (If they feel very soft but not dry, you have probably used a softer apple; further oven time will not dry them out, but they will still be fine to use.) Let the apples cool completely on the counter or in the fridge before making the rest of the dough. Leave the oven on if you will be continuing with the rest of the steps soon, otherwise this step is a great make-ahead the night before.
- Place the butter in the freezer for roughly 15 minutes, until firm. Grate with a box grater to get even shreds. Add these to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or a bowl you can use a hand mixer with), along with the cooled apple chunks, salt, sugar, cheese, cream, 2 eggs, herbs, and onions (if using). Beat for 30 seconds until uniformly mixed. Sift the flour and baking powder together over the bowl, then beat on low until just combined. Do not over-mix.
- Scoop onto baking sheets that have either been lightly buttered or lined with a fresh sheet of parchment paper. You can make these any size you want, from bite-size to large biscuit-sized. I always find that a scooper with a sweep mechanism works best for this kind of sticky dough, but spoons are just fine.
- Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl with a pinch of salt. Brush the scones with the egg wash and sprinkle them with the sugar if you desire a sweeter version, or salt for a savory one – either way what you’re after is better browning on top and a little crunch.
- Bake until firm and golden, about 15-30 minutes (15 for small bite-size ones, more for larger sizes). With a spatula, lift them to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. They are slightly addictive warm from the oven.
Do ahead: This makes a fairly large batch, and these biscuits are best only for a few days after baking. However, it is very easy to bake only part of the batch and freeze the rest formed but unbaked (without the egg wash). When you want to use them, you don’t even need to bother defrosting – simply brush them with the egg wash and sprinkle with salt or sugar, and bake them still frozen for just a few extra minutes.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen