Sunday, July 6, 2014

Apple Walnut Scones

I want to open a bakery.

I've wanted to open a bakery ever since I was ten years old. Now that I'm twenty, it seems that the desire to open one is getting stronger every day. That means it's time to start making and perfecting recipes that I can use in the future. 

I’m not sure why, but when I think about baked goods and breakfast at a bakery scones pop into my head. For some reason, I think of scones as the quintessential breakfast pastry. They seem very timeless to me. What’s great about them is that you have the base recipe and with that you can transform simple dough into something amazing. That’s what I did with this scone recipe. I simply took a base recipe and added my own spin to it. Although it isn’t currently apple season, I had a hankering for apples, despite my unfortunate allergy towards them.  

It wasn’t until recently that I developed an appreciation for baked apples. I used to find them unappetizing, as they lost their sweetness and became very tart and hard to stomach. However, I could have just had some bad apple pie back in the day. It wasn’t until I made Tyler Florence’s “Ultimate Apple Pie”, that I decided apple pie is freaking awesome.

Fortunately, I had some apples on hand that were waiting to be baked into buttery and flaky scones.  So I grabbed a couple and I got to work.

Recipe Review:

Taste: Not too sweet and the cinnamon and nutmeg adds a nice spiciness. The apples are slightly tart but still have their innate sweetness. The walnuts add a nice nuttiness to the pastry as well.
Texture: The apples add a nice bite but the addition of the walnuts is what makes it. They give the scone a lovely crunch.
Appearance: They are so cute to look at. There are little specks of cinnamon all over and some apples popping out the sides.
Level of difficulty: Extremely easy. Probably the easiest recipe I’ve posted on this blog.     

yields approx. 10 scones 

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 
1 stick cold butter, cut into cubes 
2 large eggs 
1/4 cup applesauce 
1/4 cup heavy cream 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
2 apples, finely diced (about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick) 
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and finely chopped 
Heavy cream
Sanding sugar 

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. 

Work in the cubed butter evenly throughout the flour until the mixture is crumbly. The crumbs should be pea sized. 

In a measuring cup, mix the eggs, applesauce, heavy cream, vanilla, and apples. Add the liquid mixture into the butter and flour and mix until evenly incorporated. Lastly, mix in the chopped walnuts.

Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat it out into a rectangle, about 3/4" thick. Cut the dough into roughly 10, 2 inch squares (or however large you want them to be). 

Place the scones onto the lined baking sheet and chill in the freezer for one hour. This yields the best texture and a higher rise. 

While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 400°F. Take the scones out of the freezer and lightly brush them with heavy cream and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until they are golden brown. Let cool. 

These scones are best eaten slightly warm with some of your favorite jam. I ate mine with some raspberry jam and they were to die for. They are very buttery and flaky and the chunks of apple and walnut add a great texture. I think these scones will definitely be a great hit for my bakery one day! 

As always, Happy Baking! 

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