Apple Cinnamon Scones

I landed my first job in a bakery when I was sixteen. I would come in after school and make huge batches of scone mix to help the morning baker. After I graduated from high school, I became the principal baker --and spent the summer waking up at 2 a.m. Even though I had to go to bed at 7 p.m., I felt like the coolest kid in town. The bakery offered a bunch of different flavors of scones, and I could never decide on a favorite.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 45 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: About 18 scones
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Ingredients

361 grams (3 cups) all-purpose flour

132 grams (2/3 cup) granulated sugar

12 grams (1 tablespoon) baking powder

2 grams (1 teaspoon) ground cinnamon

1 gram (1/4 teaspoon) fine sea salt

142 grams (5 ounces) (10 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

340 to 425 grams (2 to 2 1/2 cups) chopped apples, peeled if desired

242 grams (1 cup) heavy cream

Egg wash: 57 grams (1 large) egg, beaten with 15 grams (1 tablespoon) water and a small pinch of fine sea salt

Turbinado or coarse sugar, for sprinkling

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C), with racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add the butter and toss to coat the cubes with flour. Cut the butter into the flour by rubbing it between your forefingers and thumbs until the butter pieces are between the size of peas and walnut halves. Add the chopped apples and toss gently to combine.
  3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the cream. Toss the mixture with your fingers to combine, then knead gently to ensure everything is evenly moistened.
  4. Scoop 1/4-cup mounds of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets (I do this by hand because I like them to look craggy, but you can use a No. 16 (1/4-cup scoop)), leaving at least 1 1/2 inches between them. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash and sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar.
  5. Bake the scones, switching the sheets from front to back and top to bottom at the halfway mark, for 20 to 22 minutes, until the tops and edges are golden brown. The scones can be served warm or at room temperature.

Cook’s Note

Make Ahead and Storage: You can make and cut or scoop the dough, wrap the pieces in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 12 hours before baking. Unwrap and bake directly from the refrigerator. The baked scones are best eaten fresh from the oven, but they will keep airtight for up to 4 days. Reheat leftover scones by splitting them in half and toasting in a little butter on a hot griddle or in a cast-iron pan. Why It Works: In the grand tradition of recipes made with the cut-in method, scones are tender on the inside and lightly crisp on the outside. Generally speaking, the main difference between a scone and a biscuit is the liquid used to bind the ingredients. Using cream rather than buttermilk gives scones a tighter, denser, and oh-so-rich crumb. Pro Tip: I like my fruit scones almost marbled with fruit, which means that if the fruit is really juicy, I don't mind if it breaks down a bit during mixing. But if you want to keep the fruit more intact, here's how: Make the dough without adding the fruit, then divide it into 3 pieces, sprinkle a third of the fruit onto each piece, and gently work the 3 pieces together, then shape and bake.

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