Even if you don’t generally like scones, you may like these – or so I am informed by several people who tried them with varying levels of wariness.
The recipe is pretty thoroughly of my own creation, though its inspiration did once upon a time come from one I found online. I stumbled across it and decided to make these ‘apple scones’ and take them along to a movie night with friends. Only I wound up twisting and altering the recipe far more than I usually do the first time I make something. Baker’s intuition . . . and I was playing, honestly. I do love to bake!
One friend at that movie night was dubious, and the other actively knew she had never liked scones. Both bravely tried these anyway. Two scones made it home with me for breakfast the next morning. The one who did not like scones is one main reason why this recipe stuck around my kitchen and was further played with and finessed into its current form – and if I go too long without baking them, occasionally I get puppy eyes.
These scones are moist and sweet (but not too sweet) and spicy, but not overpoweringly so (unless you decide to double or triple the spices, which the recipe can stand up to just fine). You may like them with butter, but I never serve them with it, they are moist and flavourful enough on their own.
The recipe makes about 12-16 wedges, depending on how big you like your scones, and I am not entirely sure how long they may keep – mine are always gone too fast! (On several occasions when I’ve brought these to a meeting with my Ferret ladies, there have been immediate inquiries and even negotiations as to how many scones each Ferret is allowed for herself. None are ever leftover after a Ferret meeting.)
Apple Spice Scones
1-2 green apples (diced or shredded; peels optional)
2 cups flour
¼-½ cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¼ cup butter
½ cup milk or cream
1-2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp allspice
2 Tbsp milk or cream
2 Tbsp sugar
1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
Notes on ingredients:
• I typically discard most, but not all of the apple peel. I use 1 apple if I am dicing, and 2 if I am shredding (using a large grater for soft cheeses).
• The amount of milk/cream used is variable. Just a smidgen more than ½ cup usually works out for me.
• The amounts for the spices are very much down to your personal taste. (I always judge the spices by eye.) Those measurements included in the recipe produce a nice, lightly-spiced version.
Measure flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices into a medium/large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly, then cut in butter. Mix (with hands) until mixture is crumbly and feels smooth.
Add apple and milk, and knead until mixture forms a soft dough. If it is too dry or too much powder refuses to incorporate, add more milk; if it is too sticky or gooey, add up to ¼ cup more flour. (Note, this will be some of if not the stickiest dough you ever work with. Rubbing your hands together will be of limited use to dislodge it. I use the back of a paring knife to scrape it off before washing my hands.)
Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead gently. Form into a rough ball, then cut the ball in half. (I let the ‘raw’ cut side pick up some of the flour still on the counter afterwards.) Pat each half into a roughly 8 inch circle, and put on a greased cookie sheet. (I use a silicone baking mat and do not grease it.)
Brush tops with milk or cream using a basting brush or your fingertips. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the tops as thickly as you desire. Score each circle into 6-8 wedges. (I use a 9” butcher knife for this step, pressing it down across the entire width at once, and use the same knife to cut the scones when they are finished baking.)
Bake for 20-23 minutes.
Let the scones rest on the pan for a minute or two, then remove to a cutting surface before transferring them to a rack to cool – or directly to your mouth. They are at their most delicious when barely cool enough to bite into!
(And yes, Lissa, I promise I will still and always make Apple Spice Scones for you.)