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Tender apple cinnamon scones, filled with crisp apple chunks and baked to golden brown perfection.
As much as I love myself a good pumpkin baking season, I do also love when fall comes around to offset all the pumpkin-ing with APPLES.
Apple baking season is probably tied for me with pumpkin baking season, so I just love when fall rolls around and I can have my pick of one or the other at any given baking moment.
Pumpkin one day, apple another day… I mean, does it get much better than that? I don’t think it does.
It’s been far too long since I whipped up a batch of scones (over 5 years ago, I shared orange poppy seed scones), so I thought apples would be a great way to bring scones back to the forefront of my baking and give you all another way to use up all the apples I see you all picking in your local orchards and farms.
Looking for more ways to use up some of your orchard finds? Check out my:
•homemade apple butter (in the InstantPot or slow cooker)
•apple cinnamon oat streusel muffins
•apple butter pull-apart bread
•maple pecan goat cheese skillet apple crisp
•apple cinnamon streusel bread
AMERICAN SCONES VS BRITISH SCONES
I learned a long time ago, when I first made my cinnamon chip scones, that traditional British scones are dry and bland. The Brits like to load their scones up with jams and butter to jazz them up, but here in America, we just throw all the goodies inside.
American scones, then, are what I like to describe as a mix between a biscuit and a quick bread.
They’re like a quick bread in that they have a tender inside, filled with flavors and spices and often chunks of something (in this case Granny Smith apples).
The method for making scones is quite simple, and relatively quick from start of the recipe to getting into the oven.
The one thing you’ll have to remember is that since you’re starting with frozen butter, you’ll need to think ahead a bit.
These apple scones use 6 Tablespoons of butter, so not quite a whole stick. I like to put an entire stick of butter in the freezer and use the additional 2 Tablespoons as the “handle” while I grate my butter.
Yep, that’s right– you’ll be grating your butter into your dry ingredients, then cutting it in with a pastry blender or two forks, which gives us tiny chunks of butter that create pockets of steam as the butter melts in the oven.
Pockets of steam translate to spaces between gluten, which means lots of flakiness and an unbeatable texture.
Since our butter is frozen, we don’t have to think ahead and allow our buttermilk to come to room temperature, and likewise, we can use a cold egg.
Buttermilk gives these apple scones a bit of tang, which is a great complement to that sweet and spicy apple cinnamon combo.
Since these are, in fact, apple scones, we’ll add in chopped apple at the end of the mixture, and bring the dough together with our hands.
An 8″ disc of dough is the perfect way to slice 8 individual triangles, just like a pizza.
The triangles bake together, and then when they’re out of the oven and have cooled down for a few minutes, you can cut them again to separate them.
You’re left with 8 individual scones that are perfectly golden brown and crunchy on the outside and super tender and flaky (and bursting with apple cinnamon flavor!) on the inside.
Though best served immediately, we also found them to be just as incredible with a little refreshing in the toaster oven.
- 2 and ¼ cups (270g) all-purpose flour be sure to measure properly
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (50g) light or dark brown sugar
- 2 and ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter frozen
- ½ cup (120mL) buttermilk cold
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup (125g) peeled and chopped apple I like Granny Smith
- coarse sugar optional
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF (204ºC). Line a large baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Lightly flour a large circle in the center. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until completely combined.
- Quickly grate the frozen butter into the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, a fork, or two knives, blend the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and the egg. Pour this mixture evenly over the flour/butter mixture and blend together with a spatula until everything is just moist. Gently fold in the chopped apples, using your hands if necessary.
- With your hands, form into a ball and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Press ball into 8" disc and cut into 8 equal triangles with a sharp knife. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, if using.
- Bake scones for 26-30 minutes or until edges start to brown and center of circle is set. Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before serving. Scones are best served immediately, but will stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days. Scones may be frozen up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature and warm to preference before enjoying.