Friday, September 28, 2012

Sage, Apple, Cheese Scones for Fall

Fall is upon us! Tomorrow night brings the harvest moon (one of the brightest moons of the year, once important to farmers). And just around the corner is my favorite holiday, Halloween. `Tis the season of corn mazes, haunted houses, and pumpkin flavored everything. Just thinking about autumn gets me all smiley. 
One of the things I adore most about fall are the colors. Playing around with a few new lenses, I have every excuse to be outside enjoying the last of the near-summer weather. Of course one of my trusted four-legged sidekicks makes for great photo material. Such a good boy, all he wants is for me to throw the ball (forever). 
However, he does not get kudos for substituting our hard-shelled buddy here for his ball. A story I shall return to another day. Poor guy, I call him Walter. This is about the 8th time we have had to rescue him from the jaws of death (i.e. Clover the wonder dog). I now have a turtle play pen area I keep sectioned off for when Walter here needs a few minutes to regain his composure in between Clover carrying him around in his mouth. 
Another thing I love about fall is the reminder to use up everything in the garden before frost season sets in. We planted a small pineapple sage bush in our front area (turtle play pen) and it has become a beast of a plant. Needing an excuse to trim it back, I ran across this recipe for scones using sage. Perfect!
In addition to replacing half of the sage with pineapple sage, I used a large gala apple as my apple of choice and had left over shredded cheese blends in the fridge which I opted to use in place of dicing up a block of cheddar. The result yielded a moist scone (perfect for reheating) with a subtle flavor. Next time I think I might opt for the original sage instead or possibly add some honey to the top if I keep the pineapple sage. Mmm, more scones. Enjoy!

Sage, Apple, Cheese Scones
Adapted from: Sage, Apple, & Cheddar Scones
  • 4 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 cup very cold butter cut into small pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 apples, finely diced
  • 3 teaspoons finely minced sage (half pineapple sage if possible)
  • ½ cup diced or shredded cheese (I used an Italian/Mexican blend)
Preheat the oven to 375˚. 

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Pulse to mix. Add the cold butter to the flour mixture and pulse until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in the apples, cheddar and sage. Place in freezer for 5-10 minutes.
In a small bowl combine the eggs and ¼ cup of the heavy cream. Whisk well to combine.
Add eggs and cream to the flour mixture and stir until dough just comes together. Add additional tablespoons of heavy cream if necessary.
Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface. For mini scones divide the dough into four equal portions. Form each portion into a rough circle 5-6 inches across. Cut each circle into 6-8 wedges. For large scones form two 8-10 inch circles, then cut into wedges.
Place wedges on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.

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