It was my birthday recently and I decided to have a tea party. It was a roaring success, largely due to my delicious new scone recipe. I love scones, all scones. I once dated a British guy for two reasons: his accent, and he could make the best scone (Skawhns, he’d call them). Normally I make raisin scones or cheddar scones, but I decided to mix things up a little bit. I love cheese with fruit and there is nothing better than the sharpness of an old white cheddar with the acidity and tang of green apples. I found a recipe that intrigued me and tweaked it to suit my style: dump in ingredients, mash butter in with fingers, bake, eat.
- 2 apples
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp butter (straight from the fridge)
- 1 cup cheddar (shredded)
- 1/4 cup milk (technically buttermilk, so add one tsp of vinegar or lemon juice to your milk. Bingo! Buttermilk!)
- 2 eggs
The original recipes calls for coring your apples, peeling them, slicing them into 16 equal parts and then baking them in the oven at 350°F for 20 minutes. I didn’t bother peeling them because I like the colour of the peel. I found that the slices were too big, so after I baked them, I cut the slices into thirds and that means you don’t get enormous chunks of apple in one bite and nothing in the next bite. Feel free to just slice them up into chunks and not even bake them ahead. I’m sure it would be fine.
Dump all your dry ingredients into a bowl. Stir them up! Add your butter that is cut up into 1/4 inch or 1 cm cubes then “cut” the butter into the dry ingredients. Basically, you grab two butter knives and slice the butter in opposite directions. I personally just wash my hands and rub the butter and dry ingredient mixture between my hands like I am trying to warm them up and that works just as well. The goal is a crumbly dough. I suppose you could use a food processor, but why bother dirtying more dishes?
Put your milk and ONE egg into the mixture and mash with hands. Or stir, if you’re that kind of person, but ask yourself, why are you that kind of person? Once it is all mixed together, add your shredded cheese and apples that you either baked or not. Mix that all together. If your dough is really wet, add more flour. If it’s too dry, put a bit more milk in.
A traditional scone is a big round loaf that you cut into wedges once baked. I prefer making mine into smaller circles or blobs before baking; this reduces the chance of a burnt outside and raw inside. If you want your scone shaped like a penis that’s cool too. I don’t care what the purists say, it still tastes good.
If you are lazy like me, put the scones on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. You can PAM your cookie sheet if you like doing dishes. To make an egg wash, beat your second egg, add some salt and use this to coat your scones. Then sprinkle some sugar on top. This egg wash makes a nice shiny glaze when the scones bake, but is an extra step that is not particularly critical. It is a bit of a waste of egg since you only end up using half of it.
Throw them in the oven at 350°F for 25-30 minutes. Watch them carefully for the last five minutes to make sure they don’t burn!
Eat. Be happy. That’s an order.