Apple Cheddar Scones with Walnuts and Sage Recipe

An ode to the delicious juicy, sweet, tart, crispy, nature’s candy apples, how it pains me to see you replaced by pumpkin spice as Autumn’s favorite flavor. I’m not trying to judge you for getting all excite-balls over some Fall flavor coffee drinks, I understand, it’s a sensory delight evoking memories of cozy sweaters and pink cheeks, trees all gone red and orange and yellow so they look like flaming candles from afar, brisk breezes that flutter crackly leaves up and down the road. In case you can’t tell, I, like most of you, love Fall, and pumpkin spice is the olfactory embodiment of Fall. That being said, please don’t get your pitchforks and chase me out of town when I tell you that I prefer the scent of pumpkin spice to the flavor of pumpkin the food things.

Apples are a different story. They are also very versatile, also taste great in pies, also can be made into delicious warm drinks with cinnamon and clove, also can be delicious in savory preparations, but maybe don’t carve up so well into jack-o-lanterns. Thanks for hearing me out, while I made my point, I will try to do so more succinctly next time. Onward to the recipe!

This is a variation on another seasonal scone recipe I posted a few months back, only this time I was able to score some Vermont Governor’s Cheddar on sale at my grocery store and found it to pear well with fruit, sorry if you die laughing at the pun! I also tossed in some walnut and a bit of dried sage, but they’d probably also work well with more sugar and a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice!

Still life with apple grating frozen butter apple sconegredients

The first step is making sure all the ingredients are prepared before you start, apples and walnuts chopped, cheese grated, etc. Once you mix in the butter and it starts to warm up, you risk losing some of your flaky layers. Then the dried ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt and sage) get whisked or sifted together.

The next step is cutting in the butter, and I’ve found that freezing it ahead of time and quickly grating it into the dry mixture to be a good method. After that, apples, cheese, and walnuts get tossed in the crumbly looking mixture, followed by up to a cup of cold cream, slowly stirred in until mixture is just moistened, not too soggy.

scone round oven ready apple scones baked apple scone

Then the dough gets needed 2 or three times and then turned out onto a sheet of waxed paper and patted down into a round about an inch thick. Again, this needs to be done kind of fast so you don’t lose your butter flake magic. Next, the round is cut into eighths and arranged on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet and popped in a 450 oven for 15 minutes and then served however you wish, maybe on a pumpkin shaped platter…

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Apple Cheddar Scones with Walnuts and Sage
A sweet-but-not-too-sweet treat with juicy Granny Smith Apple, Tangy Vermont Cheddar, and a hint of sage
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 and lightly grease or parchment line a baking sheet
  2. Whisk sugar and dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl
  3. Using a box grater, shred frozen butter quickly into the flour mixture and rub with your fingers until mixture looks crumbly**
  4. Fold in apple, cheese and walnut, one ingredient at time
  5. Slowly add cream, stirring to make sure mixture is moistened through but not gloppy
  6. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of waxed paper and knead 2 or 3 times before shaping into a patty about 1 inch thick
  7. Cut into eighths and arrange triangles on your prepared baking sheet, baking at 450 for 13-15 minutes, until lightly browned
Recipe Notes

*Feel free to substitute your favorite apples, cheese and nuts

**This is the method I used to incorporate the butter, but cutting it in with a pastry blender or other method would work also

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