The smell of cinnamon and baking apples is pure heaven on a crisp fall day, especially when scones are in the offing. They can be enjoyed mid-afternoon, rather than having to wait for a whole pie or cake to be served “after eating a good dinner”. Sometimes you just want a little snack. NOW.
An exceptionally tender and flaky American-style scone studded with juicy bits of apple.
For the scones
- 2 3/4 c (330 g or 11.6 oz) all-purpose flour
- 1/3 c (33 g or 1.6 oz) granulated sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (113 g or 4 oz) cold butter, cut into small chunks
- 3/4 c chopped fresh apple, in 1/2″ pieces (about half a medium apple)
- 3/4 c (115 g or 4 oz) golden raisins
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 c (125 g or 4.4 oz) applesauce, unsweetened
For the topping
- 3 tbsp coarse white sparkling sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.
- Using your fingers, work in the butter just until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the apple chunks and the raisins.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and applesauce.
- Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Sprinkle a bit of flour onto a work surface and scrape the dough onto it. Divide it in half, and gently pat and round each half into a 5″ to 5 1/2″ circle about 3/4″ thick.
- Using a knife or bench knife that you’ve dipped into flour, slice each circle into 6 wedges.
- Carefully transfer the wedges to the baking sheet and push back into shape if needed.
- Stir together the coarse sugar and cinnamon. Brush each wedge with milk, and sprinkle with the topping.
- For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Bake the scones for 18 to 22 minutes, or until they’re golden brown. If they’re of uneven size and some are baking more quickly, remove the smallest from the baking pan and allow the largest ones to bake completely through.
- Remove the scones from the oven, and cool briefly on the pan. Serve warm.
- When they’re completely cool, wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to several days or in the freezer for several weeks.
- Freezing the scones before baking relaxes the gluten in the flour, which makes the scones more tender and allows them to rise higher. It also chills the fat, which will make the scones a bit flakier.
- Scones are best served warm. They’re delicous on their own, with butter or with apple butter.
- They can be reheated from room-temperature on a baking sheet. lightly tented with foil, in a preheated 350°F oven in about 10 minutes.