Apple Cheddar Sage Scones
These apple cheddar sage scones are irresistible. I always love a good sweet and savoury combo and apple and cheddar is bit of a classic combo - maybe not as well known and as accepted as peanut butter and jelly but it’s definitely one I love. These scones are a fun take on apple pie with Cheddar. Apparently that combo has been around since the 17th century. Sage goes wonderfully with apples and so the trio of flavours had to come together in these scones.
A lot of recipes I looked at involved roasting or cooking the apples before adding them to the scone dough. This most definitely adds to the flavour intensity of the apples and if you wanted to do that you could. I thought I would share a simple and quick recipe that includes them just as they are - chopped but not roasted. You get a nice sweetness in every bite from the apples with a savoury salty bite from the cheddar. They are so good! They are delicious just as they are but if you wanted a more intense flavour in the apple - go ahead and peel, core, chop your apples into chunks and then roast them on a sheet pan until they are half baked. Allow them to cool and then chop into smaller pieces and add them to the batter as called for in the recipe.
For the most delicious tender but flaky scones you must keep a few things in mind apart from having very cold butter and cream. The best scones are the ones that are handled the least. That means try not to over process the dough in the food processor. I usually don’t process them non stop - I always pulse instead because there is less chance of over working the dough. I pulse just until I see some areas of the dough starting to come together. You don’t want a mass of dough forming around the blades - chances are if that happens it might be overworked. Messy and crumbly is a good thing! When it’s a shaggy dough it’s easier to add other ingredients to it before patting it into a disc too.
Once you have tossed your add in ingredients in with the dough you can gently knead the dough together (very messily as the dough is usually sticky) once or twice just enough to have a more uniform mass of dough. Again don’t over work it with your hands either. I also almost always pat my dough out into a disk gently as opposed to rolling it out. Patting the dough out gently with my hands yields a much more tender scone. I also love to chill my scones for a few minutes before baking them. This helps them avoid over-spreading, I usually recommend chilling the shaped scones for at least 15 minutes in the refrigerator before baking. In fact, you can even refrigerate overnight for a quick breakfast in the morning!
These scones scream fall and are irresistibly crumbly, slightly savory from white Cheddar yet interspersed with tender, sweet apples. They smell heavenly when they are baking and are so good warm with a little bit of butter or a lot of butter, and always better with a piping hot coffee or tea. Enjoy!
- 2¼ cups flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (I used white cheddar but any cheddar is fine) plus a little extra for sprinkling over before baking
- 1 tsp chopped fresh sage (plus 8 extra leaves to decorate tops of scones, optional)
- 1 stick of cold butter, (100 grams) cut into cubes
- 2 medium apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped (approx 1 cup)
- ½ cup cold heavy cream plus more for brushing scones
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with a parchment paper
- Place flour, baking powder and salt, sugar in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Add the butter and pulse a few more times until butter is pea sized and well distributed. Add the cream and pulse once or twice or until shaggy dough starts to form.
- Empty out into a large bowl and add the apple, cheddar, and sage, very gently toss the mixture to incorporate into dough.
- Empty dough onto a clean and lightly floured surface and use your hands to shape it and pat it gently into a 3/4 inch thick circle. Slice into 8 pieces. Transfer to baking sheet and place a sage leaf on each one and brush scones and over sage leaves with cream. Sprinkle a little extra cheese over them if you would like. If the dough has warmed up, stick the baking sheet with scones in the fridge or freezer for 15-20 mins at this stage.
- Once ready bake for 20-22 min or until golden brown. Once done remove from oven and using a large spatula transfer scones to cooling rack to cool them then enjoy or if you cant wait like me eat them while they are still warm.
- Make Ahead: Unbaked scones can be formed 1 week ahead. Tightly wrap with plastic and freeze. To reheat, brush with cream as instructed and increase bake time to 20–25 minutes.