Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Apple-Cheddar Scones #recipe by @LeslieBudewitz


LESLIE BUDEWITZ: After I made these Apple Cheddar Scones, Mr. Right pronounced them “the best scones ever.” And as his name suggests, he is usually right.

I adapted them from a Smitten Kitchen blog post by Deb Perelman, who says she “barely tweaked” them from The Perfect Finish by Bill Yosses and Melissa Clark. Clark often writes for the NY Times food column and I usually like her recipes, though I tweaked this one quite a bit. 

Typical scones require mixing the cold butter into the flour mixture, to the coarse crumb stage, then adding any liquid or other additions. These take the reverse tack, blending the flour mixture into the butter and other wet and damp ingredients. That means you won’t fully incorporate the butter into the flour, so be sure to use a rimmed baking sheet because some of that butter will melt. Don’t worry, though; somehow, it absorbs back into the scones for a delicious goldenness.

Perelman says you can freeze these unbaked; we haven’t tried that, but the baked scones froze and thawed nicely. 

In baking with apples, I like to mix varieties. Macs and the Red Delicious the bears left us were a good combo.

The astute observers among you may notice some pictures show 6 scones and some 8. We cut the circle into 6 pieces the first time, as Perelman suggested, but those scones were very large, so we went for 8 the second go, which allowed us to actually eat other things for breakfast. 

And though this isn't my Thanksgiving Week post, these would be a lovely breakfast on Thanksgiving or the days after, full of yummy fall flavors. They'd also go nicely with a simple tomato, pumpkin, or squash soup for an easy dinner. 

Apple-Cheddar Scones

1 pound firm tart apples (2-3 apples, depending on size) 

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar plus 1 1/2 tablespoons for sprinkling 

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt plus additional for egg wash

6 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes 

1/2 cup sharp cheddar, shredded 

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 large eggs

Heat oven to 375 °F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking sheet.

Peel and core the apples, then place them cut side down on your cutting board and slice them about 1/4 inch thick. Turn and cut into quarters, so you end up with apple chunks. Place chunks in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake until they take on a little color and feel dry to the touch, about 20 minutes. They will be about half-baked. Allow to cool slightly. (This time of year, I take the paper off the tray and stick it in the laundry room for about 20 minutes. Your method may vary!) Leave oven on.

Whisk or stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, and add the apple chunks, cheese, cream, and one egg. Sprinkle flour mixture over the top and mix on low speed until the dough just comes together. Do not overmix.

Dust your cutting board with flour and place the dough on top, then sprinkle with a little flour. If your dough doesn’t look fully mixed, knead it gently just to combine all the ingredients. Press into a circle, about 6 inches wide and 1 1/4 inches thick. Cut circle into 6 or wedges. If you used parchment paper to line the baking sheet, turn it over or use a fresh sheet. Transfer the wedges to the baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each scone.

Beat remaining egg in a small bowl with a pinch of salt. Brush the scones with egg wash and sprinkle them with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake until firm and golden, about 30 minutes for 6 scones and 25 minutes for 8 scones. Use a spatula to transfer them to a wire rack and cool about 10 minutes. 

Makes 6 generous scones or 8 smaller scones. 

From the cover of THE SOLACE OF BAY LEAVES, Spice Shop Mystery #5, out now in paperback, e-book and audio (Seventh St. Books and Tantor Audio) : 

Pepper Reece never expected to find solace in bay leaves. 

But when her life fell apart at forty and she bought the venerable-but-rundown Spice Shop in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, her days took a tasty turn. Now she’s savoring the prospect of a flavorful fall and a busy holiday cooking season, until danger bubbles to the surface ... 

Between managing her shop, worrying about her staff, and navigating a delicious new relationship, Pepper’s firing on all burners. But when her childhood friend Maddie is shot and gravely wounded, the incident is quickly tied to an unsolved murder that left another close friend a widow. 

Convinced that the secret to both crimes lies in the history of a once-beloved building, Pepper uses her local-girl contacts and her talent for asking questions to unearth startling links between the past and present—links that suggest her childhood friend may not have been the Golden Girl she appeared to be. Pepper is forced to face her own regrets and unsavory emotions, if she wants to save Maddie’s life—and her own. 

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries, and the winner of Agatha Awards in three categories. Death al Dente, the first Food Lovers' Village Mystery, won Best First Novel in 2013, following her 2011 win in Best Nonfiction. Her first historical short story, "All God's Sparrows," won the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Short Story. Watch for her first standalone suspense novel, Bitterroot Lake (written as Alicia Beckman) in April 2021 from Crooked Lane Books.

A past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.


  1. The scones look delicious. I've never made scones before, but these are intriguing and easy enough to make me try them. Thank you for the recipe. ~Maya

    1. My pleasure! Scones are deceptively easy, and I'm sure these will please you and your Mr. Right!

  2. My sister gave me the Smitten Kitchen cookbook for my birthday!

  3. These sound like real winners.
    A question-"1/2 teaspoon plus additional for egg wash"
    1/2 teaspoon of what?

    1. Salt. It's mentioned in the instructions, but I missed it in the ingredients. Fixed now. Thanks!

  4. I've never made scones with apples, but what a great combo! Will be trying these soon. Thanks, Leslie!

  5. I do my baking after Christmas. My dad always asks for butter cookies for his Christmas present and I make him a ton of them!