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Apple Cheddar Scones With Hard Cider and Whiskey Glaze

A real treat
Apple Cheddar Scones With Hard Cider and Whiskey Glaze
E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune; Shannon Kinsella/food styling

Apple and cheddar are a natural pairing, but fresh apple can make pastries like this a bit stodgy, and the subtle apple flavor gets lost. Dried apple brings an intensity of the fruit flavor that can stand up to the cheddar and gives nice little nuggets of chew. A glaze made with hard cider and apple butter enhances the apple flavor, with a tiny splash of Irish whiskey for a little extra punch. —Stacy Ballis

This recipe is by Stacy Ballis and was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups flour
  • 1/2 Cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cubed
  • 7 Ounces Irish sharp white cheddar, coarsely grated
  • 4 Ounces dried apple rings, chopped finely
  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons demerara sugar
  • Cider-whiskey glaze (recipe follows)

For the cider-whiskey glaze:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons hard cider (or regular apple cider if you prefer nonalcoholic)
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Irish whiskey, such as Jameson (optional)
  • Pinch of apple pie spice or cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

Directions

Step 1: Heat oven to 400 F. In a large bowl, whisk 3 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 3 teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon kosher salt to combine.

Step 2: Cut 1 1/2 sticks cubed, unsalted butter into the dry mixture until you have a mix that resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add 7 ounces grated cheddar cheese and 4 ounces chopped dried apple into the mix until well combined.

Step 3: In a separate bowl, beat two eggs with 1 cup heavy cream until combined; stir into the dry mix, blending and kneading just until you have a cohesive dough and there are no dry streaks of flour left. Be careful not to over mix or the scones will become tough.

Step 4: On a lightly floured board with a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle about 8 inches wide and 10 inches long, which should be approximately 1 inch thick.

Step 5: Using a bench scraper or knife, cut into 12 squares measuring 3-by-3 inches. If you want smaller scones, cut each square on the bias into two triangles. You can also cut these out with round cutters of any size you like — just adjust baking time accordingly. If you prefer a traditional wedge look, divide your dough in half, then pat each portion into a circle about an inch thick, and cut each into 6 wedges.

Step 6: Arrange the scones about 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill uncovered in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours, or cover and chill for up to two days.

Step 7: Just before baking, beat the remaining 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water, and brush the egg wash over the scones, then lightly sprinkle with 1 1/2 tablespoons demerara sugar. Bake until the scones are lightly golden-brown and firm to the touch, about 15 to 20 minutes. (Every oven is different, so start checking at 15 minutes and be sure to turn the pan about halfway through baking if you know your oven heats unevenly.) Let cool on the pan on a rack for at least 20 minutes before glazing (see recipe below).

Step 8: Serve scones with clotted cream or unsweetened whipped cream, and apple butter.

For the cider-whiskey glaze:

Step 1: With a whisk, mix 1 1/2 tablespoons apple butter, 1 1/2 tablespoons hard cider (or regular apple cider), 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon Irish whiskey (optional), a pinch of apple pie spice or cinnamon, and a pinch of salt until you have a pourable glaze.

Step 2: Drizzle the glaze over the cooled scones.