These apple and white Cheddar scones are a riff on apple pie with Cheddar. Easy as muffins. Flaky as biscuits. And lovely as anything we’ve tasted.
These apple and white Cheddar cheese scones are an unconventional yet not unwelcome take on the sweet and savory and salty contrast of apple pie and Cheddar cheese. The irresistibly crumbly scones are slightly salty and savory from white Cheddar yet interspersed with tender, sweet moments of tender apple that are brilliantly baked ahead of time before being stirred into the dough so they’re the perfect texture.–Renee Schettler
Apple and White Cheddar Cheese Scones
- 2 1 lb firm, tart apples, such as Granny Smith, Macoun, or Pippin
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for the work surface
- 1/4 cup granulated 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 unsalted butter chilled and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) cubes
- 1/2 cup sharp white Cheddar cheese shredded
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) and adjust the oven rack to the center position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Peel, core, and slice each apple lengthwise into sixteenths. Place the slices in a single layer on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the apples until they feel dry to the touch and take on a slight hint of color, about 20 minutes. Dump the apples into a bowl and let it cool. Leave the oven on.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Place the butter in a large bowl or 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 with a spoon or on low speed just until the dough comes together. Do not overmix.
- 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 or use your hands to gently pat it into a 1 1/4 inch thick, 6-inch circle.
- Cut the circle into 6 wedges (each wedge should be about 2 1/2 inches wide at its outer edge) and transfer the wedges to the baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches between each scone.
- In a small bowl, lightly 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 the wedges until firm and golden, about 30 minutes. With a spatula, lift the scones onto a wire rack to cool for maybe 10 minutes. The wedges are irresistibly fragrant and best when they're a little warm.
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Recipe Testers’ Reviews
These apple and white Cheddar 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.
You can 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” foregoes accuracy. Just scoop some sugar with a spoon or even your hand, and well, you know what to do.
These apple and white Cheddar 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 2 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.
These apple and white Cheddar scones are wonderful. They’re tender, cheesy, rich, and sweet (maybe a touch too sweet). I’m 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 and using a Kitchenaid mixer helps incorporate and break the apple wedges down a bit, so use it if you have it.
These apple and white Cheddar scones were delicious—light, flaky, sweet, tart, cheesy (that is a good thing here), and almost foolproof.
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. The recipe made 6 large scones, which I had absolutely no problem with, but the recipe easily can yield 8. It seems like dried apples could also be used to further simplify the recipe. They were yummy.
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. 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 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.
Instead of a rolling pin, I used the author’s suggestion to pat the dough into a circle before cutting, which is the typical way I make scones.
Delicious results. The recipe requires a bit of kitchen space and utensils to prepare, but the apple and white Cheddar scones that result can easily be frozen, defrosted, and reheated with no problems.
If time is an issue, consider using dried apples from the store.
The flavor and texture of these apple and white Cheddar 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.
These apple and white Cheddar scones are tender and savory and just sweet enough to accent the apple. A very lovely combination.
I felt the apple slices 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. But I loved the taste. I highly recommend them.
Originally published September 22, 2019
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
This is one of the best recipes I’ve tested from the site. The apple and white Cheddar 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.