Alright, it’s only the first week of October and I am already growing tired of the PSL. In case you missed it, PSL is an acronym for Pumpkin Spice Latte that Starbucks has coined and feels the need to force feed down our throats this time of year. I can’t go anywhere without being blinded by PSL10 ads wallpapering every mass transit car and blanketing every Starbucks window from here to Manhattan. I truly love pumpkin and the spices that enhance it but this Starbucks obsession is overwhelming. I am sure they are addicting and all but pumpkin shouldn’t get all of the spotlight this time of year. While the pumpkin craze is taking over everything from coffee cups to Pinterest, I am hoping to shine a little light on another Fall favorite, apples (remember apples?).
Apples seem to be the underdog of Fall flavors nowadays. Sometimes I think people get so caught up in these marketing crazes that they forget that the classics are classic for a reason, they are always good. Starbucks is good at marketing, people, pumpkin spice is good on pumpkins, but pumpkin spice is phenomenal with apples. F those PSLs, and bring on the SAC (Spice Apple Cider). Apples bring the sweetness to the spice of Fall. Pumpkin brings earthy orange mush. This should be no contest.
The soundtrack for this baking session was inspired by the the ultimate underdog and King of IDGAF, Kenny Effing Powers. The Jet Skiing with Kenny Powers station on Songza was just the motivation the underestimated apples and I needed to jumpstart our FU attitude and show that PSL BS who’s the BMOC. And, just like KFP, apples are making a MF’n comeback. So guess what PSL, You’re F’n Out!
In all seriousness though, these scones are irresistible. They may not have the hype of the notorious PSL but they contain actual apples and real spices, imagine that. Biting into a warm and crumbly spicy apple scone sounds much more satisfying than slurping down “pumpkin-flavored” 500 calorie “coffee” drink. Is it just me?
This time of year pumpkin usually gets all of the attention, these spicy sweet apple scones are enough to make you forget about pumpkin altogether. The tart apples are spiced up with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cider then wrapped in a buttery blanket of crumbly dough.
- apples - Honeycrisp and or Granny Smith - 2 large or 3 small
- apple cider - 1/2 cup
- brown sugar - 1/4 cup
- cinnamon - 1 1/2 teaspoon
- minced ginger - 1 teaspoon
- nutmeg - 1/2 teaspoon
- all purpose flour - 2 1/2 cups
- sugar - 1/4 cup
- baking powder - 1 tablespoon
- salt - 1 teaspoon
- cinnamon - 1/2 teaspoon
- cold unsalted butter, cubed - 1/2 cup (1 stick)
- eggs - 2
- buttermilk - 1/2 cup
- powdered sugar - 1 cup
Preheat oven to 350°
In a dutch oven over medium heat, combine apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and apple cider. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, as the sugar caramelizes on the apples.
Remove from heat and strain the apple juices into a separate bowl. Set the bowl aside and save the juices for later, you will use them in the glaze.
Allow the apples to cool completely before adding to the rest of the batter. Place them in the refrigerator while you prepare the dough.
Measure the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into a large bowl and whisk to combine.
Dice the butter into 1/2" cubes. Use your hands, a pastry cutter or the paddle attachment of the stand mixer on low speed to blend the butter into the dry ingredients until the pieces of butter are the size of almonds. Place in refrigerator until apple chunks have sufficiently cooled. Once the apples have cooled toss them in with the dry ingredients.
Whisk the eggs and buttermilk together, then add two-thirds of the mixture to the dry ingredients. Gently mix the dough just until it comes together, then add the remaining buttermilk mixture, the dough should look scrappy and rough at this point.
Scrape the dough from the bottom and sides of the bowl to incorporate floury scraps. Move the dough to a lightly floured surface, it should come out as mostly one big chunk with some scrappy bits.
Gather the dough ball and bits and pat until it just comes together. The top should be chunky and rough, this ensures the crunchy crumbly character of the finished scones. Gently form the dough into a 7"-8" disk or for smaller scones, form two 3"-5" disks.
Cut the disk(s) into 6 wedges and spread out evenly on baking sheets. Now chill the scones on the baking sheets in the refrigerator for 10ish minutes, this will help the scones hold their structure and prevent them from falling and spreading too much in the oven.
Bake large scones for 30-35 minutes or small scones for 20-25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time.
The scones should come out a golden brown.
Place the baked scones on a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes.
While the scones cool, make the glaze by whisking in 2-3 tablespoons of the reserved cider juice (one tablespoon at a time) with 1 cup of powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. The glaze should slide slowly and smoothly from a spoon.
Once the scones have sufficiently cooled, drizzle them with the glaze.
Enjoy with hot coffee or if you must, a PSL.