First let me say I am so excited to be posting my first TWD recipe! To be completely honest, TWD is one of the main reasons I decided to finally start a little food blog. I've had Dorie's book for almost a year, and haven't tried any recipes, although almost all of them sounded good, I have such a massive cookbook collection that Baking just got lost in the shelf after a once over. Somehow, and I don't remember quite how, I stumbled across TWD. I believe I was doing a google image search, got to someone's blog looking for a photo of a recipe, and ended up seeing their TWD post, and finding my way to the TWD site. "Hey," I said to myself "I have that book, why haven't I tried any of these delicious recipes?" It took me a while, but I finally got my blog started, and here I am!
If this was the only recipe I would try from this book I would be satisfied. I loved these scones! They were the perfect texture, flavor, mix of sweet and savory -- I would say a touch more on the savory side. If you've never had scones this is a nice recipe to start with but know what you are making. I've made scones many times, and I clearly remember the first time, the recipe I tried was "Apple Cinnamon Scones" and was had no trouble with the dough, the shaping (they were in a traditional circle with triangles cut out), the baking, but the flavor what off to me. I was expecting a muffinish flavor and that is not what I had. Now that I've tried many scone recipes I realize that my first batch just right, I just didn't know how to appreciate it. To me scones are more like biscuits than muffins, and I wish I had know that during my first batch.
Back to the Apple Cheddar scones, let me say again, I LOVED them! I did change the recipe just a touch, I did not have dried apples and did have fresh, a beautiful bag of Red Delicious, and they were perfect for the recipe. I only used about 3/4 of one apple. Got out my Back to Basics apple "corer, peeler, slicer" did not use the peeler blade, just core and slice, then diced my apple myself, measuring out 1/2 cup, wanting a little more, and probably using more like 3/4 cup, as you can see in the picture.
Also I had in my fridge my "cheese bowl" where I put shredded cheeses that are 'left-overs' from a recipe. After a few days I use all the leftovers in a cheese sauce or to top a pizza. I like to buy all my cheese in big hunks and shred them up myself, and in my "cheese bowl" I had about a 3:1 ratio of cheddar (from nachos) and fontina (from lasagna) left overs. I know apple pairs nicely with fontina, so instead of breaking out the grater and grating just cheddar, I decided to use my already shredded sharp cheddar and fontina. Being the generous person that I am I believe I used a whole cup of cheese as opposed to the 3/4 cup called for. I just couldn't stop at 3/4 cup, I'm so bad. Everything mixed together nicely, my dough was not terribly sticky, it was the normal consistency of a biscuit or scone dough before kneading.
I did my first pan as drop scones as suggested in the recipe, I got 9 drop scones, and still had enough dough for 8 smaller 'rectangle' scones that I did by patting the dough into a rectangle and cutting as instructed.
Is that scone smiling at me? I think it is! That was completely unintentional, I promise! I didn't even notice it until I was reviewing my photos after uploading them!
For some reason I never trust a cooking temp of 400 for baked goods. Guess I've been burned too many times. I use recipes that call for 400 all the time and always drop them down to 375 for baked goods, sometimes I drop them down to 350 for cookies. After many years of baking in at least 4 different ovens, both gas and electric, but currently electric, I know that 400 works best *for me* when making a 'roasted' dish (potatoes, veggies, tofu) OR a covered casserole.
For these scones I did 375, and since I made my scones smaller (not purposely) and had 17 instead of 12 that the recipe calls for, I also took my baking time down. This is another thing I do with most recipes, take the minimum baking time suggested, subtract 5 minutes, and start 'babysitting' the oven at that point. That left me with a baking time/temp of 15 minutes at 375, and you know what? They were perfect right at 15 minutes! The bottoms were a nice golden brown, I had golden flecks on the tops, perfectly light and fluffly in the middle. Perfection all around.
Served with butter and honey, oh my goodness good!