Dear Citizens of the United States (an open letter of apology):
I may have made some recent life decisions that have altered the climate patterns of the north-western hemisphere. The 30 degree temps in normally tepid Florida. Eagle’s game cancelled and rescheduled. LaGuardia airport completely shut down. Me. Me. Me.
Wait, wait. Let me back up a bit.
I really should start by saying that I’m a terrible baker. Or maybe that baking is terrible to me? How about this: In the past, the process of making cupcakes has given me minor (but palpable) levels of anxiety. We, baking and I, are terrible to each other.
But is that so hard to believe? I mean my goodness! What a high maintenance form of cookery! You have to “measure” things and those “measurements” are actually important. And baking doesn’t do “close enough”. If I’m making potato soup and have only sweet potatoes, whatever. Po-ta-to, po-tah-to. But if I’m baking a cake, baking powder is baking powder and baking soda is baking soda. These are not interchangeable. (Unless of course you are competent enough to know how to change the rest of your recipe.)
However, as is true of all high maintenance things, when you get it right the payoff is BIG.
And then, as is true of all big payoffs, you’re immediately in search of the next one.
So somewhere over my not too distant past I became a baker. I started buying flour every other month instead of every other year. I learned how to make things like pound cakes and soft pretzels. And then my mind started to wander to recipes that weren’t in the cookbooks. “I like this recipe, but I want it to taste like this instead.” I mean, what if you could make a scone taste like an apple pie? That would be like eating crumbly and tender awesomeness! For breakfast! And then…and then…
So to make up for it I’m going to do two things. 1) I’m going to post the recipe below because I feel like I should at least share the reward with those I have punished and 2) I’m going to the grocery store and buying a box of brownie mix which I will immediately go burn in my oven, therefore returning the world’s climate state to its natural balance.
But I’m really sorry about the weather…
(A quick note for anyone who’s been anxiously awaiting the results of the 2010 Fudge-off, after a very carefully executed taste testing – to omit any bias – of my grandpa’s two fudge recipes, the recipe I featured a week ago was declared the winner! The mystery of the “good fudge recipe” has finally been solved!)
Apple Pie Scones
- 2 Granny Smith apples cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 2 Tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp + 1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (can substitute unbleached AP flour)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into 1/2″ thick slices
- 2 cups rolled, old fashioned oats
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg, beaten
- turbinado sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
- In large bowl combine apples 1 Tbsp cinnamon and 1 tsp nutmeg and stir until apples are well coated. Set aside.
- In food processor, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and remaining cinnamon and nutmeg and pulse 2-3 times until well mixed.
- Add in sliced butter and pulse food processor until dough looks “sandy” and holds together when pinched.
- Move dough into large mixing bowl and stir in oats and apples until well combined, then add in half of buttermilk, incorporate in and then add in 2nd half. Work the buttermillk in until the dough is moistened. Using your hands to mix the dough at this point is the best way to get a feel for whether or not the dough is moist enough. You can add in 1-2 more Tbsp of buttermilk if necessary. You want your dough to moist and hold together, but not so much that it’s oozing.
- Flour your countertop, place your ball of dough in the center and, using your hands, pat into a round disk until it’s approximately 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick. Cut the disk like you would a pie. Your typical 8 slices will give you 8 very large scones, I cut mine a little narrower but still got 12 good sized scones out of it.
- Brush your egg wash onto the scones, sprinkle with turbinado sugar and move to baking sheets. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until scones are cooked through and bottom of scones are golden brown. Bake time will vary based on how thick you cut your scones.