Yesterday was one of those rare Colorado fall days that actually makes you think of fall. Typically autumn lasts for a week, and then winter rears its snowy head. This fall has been temperamental, but seemingly more fall-esque. With a rainy day that never reached a high of 60 degrees, and an office autumn potluck to prepare for, I went searching for a delicious seasonal treat that was worth the time of year. Given my recent trip to the UK, I have been on a tea and scone kick, so I decided to make scones. Other than pumpkin, which is my automatic autumn go-to, apples are another perfect taste of fall.
In my hunt for the perfect apple cinnamon scone, I stumbled upon one of my favorite baking resources, King Arthur Flour. They always have great recipes, ideas, and really wonderful products. I discovered an apple cinnamon scone recipe that I thought would be easy to edit to my tastes. I didn’t want to add the butterscotch chips, and had some oats and almonds lying around. After testing it out on my boss and coworker this morning, it has passed the taste-test. So here it is, my own Apple Cinnamon Oat Scones!
Amy’s Apple Cinnamon Oat Scones
2 ¾ cup unbleached Hungarian High Altitude Flour
1/3 cup granulated/baker’s sugar
¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter
¾ cup chopped fresh apple, in ½” (or smaller) pieces (about half a medium apple)
½ cup steel cut oats (reserve some for sprinkling on top of scones)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup applesauce, unsweetened preferred (I used organic unsweetened cinnamon applesauce)
Cinnamon Sugar (Penzeys)
¼ cup milk
Tips for Baking
Freeze the unbaked scones for 30 minutes before baking. 30 minutes in the freezer 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 delicious as is, but add butter and/or jam (or apple butter), if you like. To reheat room-temperature scones, place on a baking sheet, tent lightly with foil, and warm in a preheated 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and spices. Work in the butter with a pastry cutter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly and the butter is about the size of peas. Stir in the chopped apple, oats, and almonds.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and applesauce. Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together.
Line a baking sheet with parchment; if you don’t have parchment, just use it without greasing it. Sprinkle a bit of flour atop the parchment or pan. Scrape the dough onto the floured parchment or pan, and form the dough in a round about 3/4″ thick. Using a small biscuit cutter, cut out the scones. Brush each circle with milk, and sprinkle with the oats and Cinnamon Sugar. Place evenly on the prepared pan, leaving an inch between each scone. 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 20 minutes, or until they’re golden brown.
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.
Yield: 12-15 scones.
What are your favorite fall flavors and recipes? What’s your favorite thing to do on a crisp autumn day? What are you up to this weekend?