Apple and White Cheddar Scones

Apple and White Cheddar Cheese Scones Recipe

These simple apple and white Cheddar cheese scones echo the delightful sweet-savory contrast of that classic American pairing: apple pie and Cheddar cheese. There are times when you want something savory in the morning or perhaps in the later morning as you start to transition into lunch, and cheese lends just the right balance to these crumbly, apple and white Cheddar cheese scones. Before I mix them into the dough, I pre-bake the apple wedges slightly so they’re soft enough to blend easily with the scone mixture without becoming mushy—it’s a treat to find pockets of apple flavor.

For this scone recipe, I shape the dough in an untraditional way—patting it into a round, then cutting it into wedges—so that no dough is wasted. The wedges are irresistibly fragrant when they’re a little warm; eat them shortly after baking, or reheat them a bit in the oven.–Bill Yosses

LC Sweet and Savory Note

A rather unconventional but not unwelcome take on the traditional intertwining of Cheddar cheese and apple, this sweet and savory scone recipe requires no more work than any other scone. Just perhaps a willingness to let go of expectation.

Apple and White Cheddar Cheese Scones Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 1 H, 15 M
  • 6 (2 1/2 inch) scones

Ingredients

  • 2 firm, tart apples, such as Granny Smith, Macoun, or Pippin (about 1 pound total)
  • 1 1/2 cups (6.75 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus additional for work surface
  • 1/4 cup (2.2 ounces) sugar, plus 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons for sprinkling
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus additional for egg wash
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup (about 2.25 ounces) sharp white Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature

Directions

  • 1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F (176°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • 2. Peel, core, and slice each apple lengthwise into sixteenths. Place the slices in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake the apples until they take on a little color and feel dry to the touch, about 20 minutes. Transfer the apples to a bowl and let cool. Leave the oven on.
  • 3. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper and set aside.
  • 4. Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the apples, Cheddar cheese, cream, and 1 of the eggs. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the butter mixture and mix on low speed until the dough just comes together. Do not overmix.
  • 5. Generously flour the work surface, place the scone dough on it, and sift a light layer of flour over the top. Use a rolling pin to gently roll the dough into a 1 1/4 inch thick, 6-inch circle. Cut the circle into 6 wedges (2 1/2 inches wide at their outer edge) and transfer the wedges to the baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches between each scone.
  • 6. In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg with a pinch of salt. Brush the apple scones with the egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar. Bake on the center rack until firm and golden, about 30 minutes. With a spatula, lift the scones onto a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then serve warm.
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Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Tracey G.

Oct 15, 2010

This is one of the best recipes I’ve tested from the site. The scones are slightly mysterious—are they savory? Are they sweet? In attempting to find an answer, I easily ate half of them in one sitting. Without a doubt, double this recipe. You won’t be disappointed. And although the technique used is not one I’ve encountered before, it’s a great way to ensure that the dough isn’t overmixed. I’m going to try a ham sandwich using a sliced scone as the bread.

Testers Choice
Karen Depp

Oct 15, 2010

The scones were delicious—light, flaky, sweet, tart, cheesy (that is a good thing here), and almost foolproof. However, it does depend on who the fool is…and once again, it was me! I have just a few bones to pick with this recipe as written before I go back and eat the rest of this testing adventure. Those apples? I peeled them, cored them, and then WHAT? Cut them into sixteenths? Well. Mothers of the World, when you cut an apple for those kids of yours, how do you cut it? Right! From top to bottom. So I cut 16 slices out of each apple. Then I got to wondering, maybe I should have “chopped the suckers into 16 bullets.” Well, too late for that now! Those apples are sliced and sitting on that pan waiting to dry out. Twenty minutes later? Still sitting there, looking juicy. So after 35 minutes, I just yanked them out of the oven and proceeded. I didn’t use another piece of parchment for the dry ingredients. (I confess, I’m lazy.) I sifted them into a bowl instead. Maybe that goes against the rules, but I promise the Scone Police hasn’t rung my doorbell yet. I mixed it all together, put it on the counter, rolled it into a 6-inch circle cut it into 6′s and plopped them gently on the old parchment lined sheet. I egg-washed them (tops? sides, all over? I really didn’t care much by then, I was hungry), and dusted them with the sugar before putting them into the oven. Whew—can I tell you how much hard work it is being a tester?

Testers Choice
Kim Venglar

Oct 15, 2010

These scones have a very nice balance of flavors. You get a slight hint of sweetness from the sugar along with the tart taste of the apples, and a touch of savory sharpness from the cheese to bring it all together. Be careful about which type of sharp white cheddar you purchase. There are two ways this cheese is processed: One creates a crumbly cheese, and the other is a smooth, blending cheese that grates well and is better suited for this recipe. I love how easily this recipe mixes up using my KitchenAid mixer with the scraper attachment. I did use the rolling pin like the directions instructed, but I’ve never used one to make scones before. I always pat the dough into shape and cut. To me, the rolling pin method is the untraditional way.

Testers Choice
Chiyo Ueyama

Oct 15, 2010

Do you have someone in your life that you love despite his or her flaws? If the answer is “yes,” you’ll understand and embrace these scones. The original recipe has problems with the way it’s written [LC EDITOR'S NOTE: We've tweaked the recipe's wording to make it more straightforward.] Oh, but the scones are delicious, whether warm or at room temperature. I really enjoyed the tart apple slices and the hint of salt from the cheddar, especially the cheesy crusty bits on the outer edges. The texture of the scones was very nice, too. I’d make these again. So how do you get around the not-so-perfect instructions? First, forget the additional butter for the baking sheet, you won’t need it. You can also use the same parchment for the apples and the scones. The long apple slices look too big to be folded into the dough, but not to worry, everything comes together nicely before you know it. Lastly, don’t bother with measuring the sugar for sprinkling, as the very act of “sprinkling” forgoes accuracy. Just scoop some sugar with a spoon or even your hand, and well, you know what to do.

Testers Choice
Elie Nassar

Oct 15, 2010

These scones are wonderful. They are tender, sweet (maybe a touch too sweet), cheesy and rich. I am already getting requestes from my wife to make them again. Just a couple of notes to ensure success: – Cutting the apple into sixteenths means cut it into sixteen wedges. – Using a Kitchenaid mixer helps incorpoorate and break the apple wedges down a bit. So use it if you have it.

Testers Choice
Judy O.

Oct 15, 2010

These scones were so easy to make, and were so tasty and buttery. I had all of the ingredients measured ahead of time, so they came together in a snap, really. They made six large scones, which I had absolutely no problem with, but the recipe easily can yield 8. It seems like dried apples can also be used to further simplify the recipe, and the addition of raisins might add to the taste and texture. They were yummy.

Testers Choice
Marilyn Canna

Oct 15, 2010

I have to agree that the step of baking the apple slices seemed unnecessary, though I appreciated their softness as I mixed the batter. Why not just dice the apples into a medium size and bake them? That way, the pieces won’t be unwieldy. Also, I found I had more batter than indicated—my dough circle came out to about 8 or 9 inches and didn’t need a rolling pin. The recipe instructions were just a bit too fussy for scones, which many of us know to be simple and quick to prepare and bake. I also have to agree that the taste was a little too tangy for snack or breakfast, and a little too sweet for a savory accompaniment. Although, oddly enough, they did go well with the grilled radicchio, perhaps aligning themselves with the sweetness of the balsamic in the dressing.

Testers Choice
Joan Osborne

Oct 15, 2010

I love to make scones and am always on the lookout for new recipes to try. I wasn’t sure I’d like the flavor of these since I’ve never enjoyed cheddar on my apple pie and the author compares these scones to that. I loved them, though, and will definitely be making these again. I’ve never made scones with a mixer but wanted to try this method, so I borrowed my daughter’s KitchenAid for the task. It did help the ingredients come together nicely and quickly, but I think next time I’ll just make them with my fingers as I normally do. I cut my apples into 16 chunks instead of slices since chunks just seemed like they’d distribute better in the ingredients. I used a Silpat on the pan for baking the apples, as well as the scones themselves. I don’t think you need to sift the sugar with the flour; so just add it to the flour and other ingredients on the waxed paper. Instead of a rolling pin, I used the author’s suggestion to pat the dough into a circle before cutting. This is the typical way I make scones, anyway.

Testers Choice
Cindi Kruth

Oct 15, 2010

These scones are tender and savory yet just sweet enough to accent the apple. A very lovely combination. I didn’t butter my pan at all; I never do for scones. So even though I had, on first reading, a question about when it is that you butter the pan, by the time I actually put the scones on the pan I’d forgotten about it. I simply used the apple pan and apple parchment for the scones—no need to dirty more pans. Besides, parchment needs no greasing for buttery scones. I don’t know that the apples benefited from baking first. It was easy enough, but sort of a bother. I also had a question about slices or chunks, but the headnote says “wedges” so I went with slices. Ultimately, I felt they were too big. When I bit into a slice, it pulled out of the scone. So one mouthful was mostly apple and the next two bites were apple-free. Also, too many apple slices stuck out and dried out around the edges. I questioned why I had to haul out my mixer. I easily could have mixed this dough, as I always do for scones, with a spatula and/or my fingers. Same with the rolling pin given that I usually just pat out my dough. Now, after all of this complaining you’d think there’s no way I’d give these a thumbs up, but I loved the taste. I highly recommend them.

Testers Choice
Carol Anne Grady

Oct 15, 2010

The flavor and texture of these scones are great— flaky, with crisp edges and a soft inside studded with pieces of apple, paired with the tangy but not overpowering flavor of cheddar. The recipe strikes a great balance between these tastes, and I’m keen to make the scones again. One thing I’m curious about is the egg wash at the end. It seems like such a waste of a whole egg, that I wonder if a milk wash, as traditionally used on British scones, would do the trick instead.
I don’t own a stand mixer and so, as always, used my hand-held mixer. I think the only difference the mixer made was to break the apple up a bit further than a paddle attachment might have. Though I’m pleased with this result, I don’t think it’s a recipe that needs a mixer.

Testers Choice
TeAntae Turner

Oct 15, 2010

Delicious results. The recipe requires a bit of kitchen space and utensils to prepare, but the results can easily be frozen, defrosted, and reheated with no problems. I did need an additional 15 minutes of baking, but that may be because my batter seemed a bit wet. Also, if your time is an issue, consider using dried fruit from the store.

Testers Choice
Jodi C.

Oct 15, 2010

I love scones. I even love bad scones. And there are plenty of bad scones to be had out there. Some people actually think that the bad scones are what scones are supposed to be like. I’d like to personally give each and every one those poor souls a copy of this recipe.
I had advance warning on some of the vagaries of this recipe through a few other intrepid testers, so I took a clue from them. I, too, was concerned that the large wedges of apple would stick out of the scones, and be rubbery and unpleasant. With that in mind, I chose to beat the butter, apples, cheese, and eggs pretty vigorously, thereby breaking the apple wedges up a bit and distributing the apple goodness throughout each scone and managing to avoid the sticky, rubbery problem.

Comments
Comments
  1. I just went apple picking, so will definitely have to try these out. I love that you listed “Macoun” as one of the suggested apples to use. Being from Upstate NY, these are my favorite apples, perfect for eating and baking!

  2. Pam P says:

    Deb from Smitten Kitchen just had these on her site and I made them right away. They are unbelievably awesome!! Make some today :)

  3. Olesha Franklin says:

    I made these for Sunday supper to serve with beef stew and romaine-endive salad. My picky husband raved about these to the point of coming home last night with a basket of apples from the nearby cider mill, asking if I would make another batch. Apparently they’re addictive!

    Your recipe needs no improvement. If one follows the directions and cuts the apples into the 16ths described, bakes until the pieces get dry and start to brown, everything works perfectly. The apple pieces are broken up in the mixing—no need to cut them up aforehand.

    They look gorgeous as well thanks to the generous eggwash and gentle blast of sugar crystals on top. Use all of the eggwash and you’ll get a perfectly crusted, golden triangle of deliciousness.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      So pleased to hear these scones are a new household favorite! And many thanks for the detailed testing notes, which are always very much appreciated. We test all of our recipes before sharing them with readers, but love to hear about different cooks’ experience with them…

  4. Ketki says:

    Just finished eating the scones. They are Delicious! They were exactly how everybody said it would be–warm, crumbly, soft inside. I was a little unsure about the combination of cheese and apples initially, but I am glad I decided to try it. Even my toddlers who are not big fan of apple pies, loved these.

    Only problem I had was that my mix was a little wet so I put it in the freezer for about 5 minutes to make it a little firm to make it workable. It did. Everything else worked smoothly.

    • David Leite says:

      Congrats, Ketki, on your cool thinking. Literally. Glad you and your wee ones enjoyed the scones. My only suggestion: Next time add all but a few tablespoons of the water. Add the rest if you need it.

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