I don’t want it to end. I am speaking, of course, of the San Francisco Giants, and their near-miraculous performance in the postseason this year. After coming back from a two-game deficit last week, winning the division series and advancing to the pennant race, my heart was as full as it’s been in years. Okay, since 2010, when the Giants won the World Series. But still. My devotion to baseball is such that I tend to get very, very excited when things go well (and, conversely, very, very sad when things do not go well).
Plus, I am having a great time coming up with new and inventive ways to incorporate black and orange foods into our meals. Sometimes the black and orange components are front and center, but other times, like with these scones, the black and orange bits are a bit more subtle, though no less enjoyable. Actually, it just occurred to me that there might have been a more obvious scone to make when adding to my arsenal of orange and black foods: orange chocolate scones. Why did I not think of that earlier?
Truth be told, I am glad I did not go the orange and chocolate route. These cheddar apple scones, rich and buttery, but barely sweetened, were an absolute delight. With just a hint of whole wheat pastry flour to add to their heartiness, their pure, simple flavor made for a perfect fall bite. I had a bit of an internal battle with myself before I decided to hold off on adding any pinches of fall-ish spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.), and, in the end, I am so glad I decided to reign things in. With just enough sharp cheddar folded into the dough to offset the fresh sweetness of the apples, these scones are just lovely. They served us well as both a fantastic afternoon treat and a welcome, celebratory post-game snack. The Giants won, so I am, of course, going to credit the scones. Not that I really need an excuse, but I just might have to make these again for Game 3. You know, because of the good luck they brought the team. Of course.
Last Year: Panko-Crusted Sole, a Dinner in 20 Minutes
Cheddar, Apple, and Poppy Seed Scones Recipe
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ¾ cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 ½ cups cold buttermilk or soured milk
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups peeled apple chunks, about ¼-inch in size (from roughly 1 ½ large apples)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, poppy seeds, and lemon zest. Whisk to combine thoroughly.
Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few large pea-sized butter bits strewn throughout. Using a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula, carefully stir in the buttermilk until the dough appears quite shaggy and just begins to hold together. Fold in both the grated cheese and the apple chunks.
Turned the dough out onto a floured surface. Carefully pat the dough into a long rectangle about 18 inches long and roughly 1 ½-inches thick. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 12 triangles.
Place the dough triangles on the prepared baking sheet. You might need to partake in a bit of creative arranging in order to make all 12 triangles fit on the baking sheet. Bake in the center of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tops of the scones have turned dark golden brown. Remove scones to a wire rack to cool slightly, then serve while still warm.
Makes 12 scones.