One of the first things Chris' mom did when we got to Michigan yesterday was present me with two early Christmas presents. One was the Pastry Queen Christmas Cookbook, which I was immediately very excited about, and the other was a book called Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More by Carole Walter. I found several recipes to make in each, but I started with this recipe from the coffee cake book because they happened to have an apple sitting around that was looking a little sad and I happen to love scones.
I will say that the instructions she gave in the book to make the scones were different than any instructions I have seen. She had you forming a skin on the dough, folding it certain ways and in certain measurements, flipping it over, folding it some more -- more work than I wanted to do. She also had you using a food processor to chop the apple, and a stand mixer to mix the butter everything up. I didn't do any of those things. The recipe I have below is not what was in the book -- I used all of her ingredients and her proportions -- but I mixed & shaped the dough based on my previous experience with scones and pretty much ignored everything except the ingredient list, the oven temp and the baking times.
The scones are quite good. A nice delicate cinnamon and apple combination in a bready, yummy scone. I was tempted to add more cinnamon when I mixed the dough, but I'm glad I resisted because the cinnamon flavor is perfect and delicate -- adding more probably would have made it a bit overwhelming.
1 apple (the book called for Golden Delicious, I used a Honey Crisp), peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 inch dice
2 cups cake flour, spooned in and leveled
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned in and leveled, plus more for kneading and shaping
6 tbsp sugar
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup plus 2 tbsp heavy cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
Finishing (which I also didn't do... but I'm sure it would have made them prettier.)
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 large egg beaten with 1 tsp water for egg wash
Preheat oven to 375.
Mix the flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter, and rub it in with your fingers (or cut it in with two knives) until it forms pea-sized pieces. Add the apple and toss to mix.
In another bowl whisk the heavy cream, egg, and egg yolk until combined. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and mix only until combined. (Be careful not to overmix and try to keep the butter as cold as possible.)
Place the dough on a flat, lightly floured surface and pat it into a round about 1/2 inch thick. If you are going to finish it, mix the cinnamon and sugar, brush the round with the egg wash and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Cut the round into pie-shaped pieces, and place the pieces onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown on the bottom.