March 23, 2014

Apple Scones

Scones are one of the most perfect breakfast foods ever. Carbs are always good, but scones can be sweet or savory and filled with anything you want. I've made gingerbread sconesvanilla bean sconeswhite chocolate peach scones, and even strawberry ricotta scones. You can make literally any flavor for any season and any occasion, but today I wanted something simple and sweet. Apples are always good, and they pair perfectly with cinnamon. It's a delicious taste of fall on a warm spring day, and it's the perfect way to start the morning.

When I first looked at this recipe, I was surprised by the lack of sugar. I was getting ready to improvise with brown sugar or maple syrup or something, but then I realized something. Honey is sweet, y'all.

Unfortunately, my honey was crystallized. If yours is, too, don't worry. I talked to my friend Noah who also happens to be a master beekeeper, and he said to put it in a water bath. Since mine was in a plastic jar, I scooped out what I needed, put it in a glass measuring cup, and stuck that in a pot of warm water until it was the proper consistency again. But whatever you do, don't microwave it. Seriously, don't. Apparently it kills all the microorganisms, which sounds like it would be a good thing but really isn't.

There's obviously ingredients besides apples, cinnamon, and honey. That sounds delicious, but you can't make scones with just that. I add flour and oats; you can use half whole wheat flour if you want to feel better about eating buttery carbs for breakfast. The wet ingredients are honey and buttermilk. You could use regular milk (just not skim--it's for being healthy for cereal but not so much for baking), but there's something magical about buttermilk. It just makes everything fluffier and softer and yummier. Other than that, it's mainly the apples. I prefer granny smith because they hold up during baking and adds a nice balance of tart and sweet, but any baking apple will do. You can even omit the apples altogether so you just have sweet cinnamony goodness. It's hard to make a bad scone, so you can experiment with different fruits and spices with the base, too. I know I'll be experimenting with maple syrup vs honey soon because you can really never have too much maple syrup.

2 Cups Flour
⅔ Cup + 2 T Oats
1 T Baking Powder
¼ tsp Baking Soda
1 ¼ tsp Cinnamon
¼ tsp Nutmeg
¼ tsp Salt
1 Stick Butter, Chilled & Cubed
1 Granny Smith Apple
½ Cup + 1 T Buttermilk
¼ Cup Honey
2 T Brown Sugar

Heat oven to 400F. Line a cookie tray with parchment.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, ⅔ cup oats, baking powder, baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together. Add the butter and pulse until small lumps remain.

Peel, core, and dice the apple. Combine ½ cup buttermilk and honey. Stir the remaining oats, remaining cinnamon, and brown sugar together.

Transfer the flour mixture into a large bowl. Fold in the milk and honey, then add the apples.

Split the dough into three pieces. Shape each piece into a circle, and cut each circle into quarters. Brush with the remaining buttermilk and sprinkle with the streusel. Transfer the quarters onto the prepared tray and bake for 12 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

Makes 12
Recipe Adapted from Jo Cooks

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