Monday, October 12, 2009

Welcome to Apple Week!

Yes, for my first-ever theme week, I chose apples, since I have an unholy amount of them from apple picking. My apples are of an unknown varietal; I kept the Macintosh seperate for eating, but for baking I don't know which are Gala and which are Jona Gold. I also have a few green ones which are definitly not Granny Smith. So all my baking and cooking this week is with apples which are probably too sweet to cook with. Oh well.

First up: Apple Scones. If you will recall from my last scone post, I love those darn things. And any time I get to fuss with them and make them extra great, is a good time for me. This recipe is only slightly changed from my last one; basically I just added apple spices and such. They turned out incredibly moist. Just be sure to add the apples after the butter, especially you are using a food processor to cut the butter into the flour. That is what I usually do, unless I don't feel like cleaning up after it; then I use forks or my hands. On my wishlist: a pastry blender.

For these I used my favorite Oatmeal Scone recipe from Joy of Baking, so here it is again, revised:

2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 large apple, diced small
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
2/3 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a baking sheet with butter.

Combine apples with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, and half the sugar. Stir to coat, set aside.

In a large mixing bowl place flour, the rest of the sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder and oats and whisk to combine. Add the butter and using two knives or a pastry blender cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the apples, saving a few tablespoons of apple for topping. Mix until combined. Stir in the buttermilk (adding more buttermilk or flour if necessary) and mix just until the dough comes together.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough four or five times and then pat, or roll, the dough into a circle that is 7 inches round and about 1 1/2 inches thick. Cut this circle into 8 triangular sections. Place the scones on the prepared baking sheet. Top with remaining apples.

Bake for about 15 - 18 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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