One day I will post a recipe not from Smitten Kitchen, but that day has yet to come (her recipes are just so reliably good). These apple cheddar scones are phenomenal and I can't stop eating them (which, to be fair, she does warn her readers about).
I started by chopping up two apples - I used one granny smith and one honey crisp, since the recipe calls for two firm tart apples and I wasn't one hundred percent sure what that meant. These were perfect. I forgot to peel them, but I think they turned out just fine (as evidenced by the fact that I immediately devoured two once they came out of the oven). The apple skins were actually reminiscent of the apple chips we used to always eat as kids, so I liked the texture, but you do you.
I then roasted the apple chunks for half an hour in an oven that was approximately 375 degrees, on a parchment-lined baking tray (the recipe calls for twenty minutes, but my oven is never the right temperature and everything always takes longer). I then popped the apples in the refrigerator to cool while I got the dough together.
In a large bowl, I mixed together one and a half cups of unbleached all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur's), a quarter cup of sugar, a half tablespoon of baking powder and a pinch of Kosher salt. Then I cut in 6 tablespoons of cold butter (make sure it's cold! That's how you get the flakiness and scrumptiousness). I don't have a stand mixer, so I did this part by hand.
Then I added a quarter cup of heavy cream, a half cup of shredded sharp English cheddar, and one egg. I pulled the apples out of the fridge; they were still a little warm but they were cooled completely by the time I had finished going over them again roughly with my knife.
I stirred this all with a wooden spoon; it took some work for the dough to come together, but it was pretty wet and sticky by the end. The recipe warns you to avoid overmixing, but that's not too much of a concern when mixing by hand (as opposed to in a stand mixer oh man do I want one so bad).
Smitten Kitchen calls for rolling out the dough on a well-floured surface, but ain't nobody got time to clean up that kind of a mess. Since the dough would get worked a little more by rolling, and I was skipping that step, I spent a little more time hand-mixing. If you're not rolling out the dough on a floured surface, you could incorporate a little extra flour into the dough to make up for that although I didn't and thought everything turned out fine.
I then divided the dough into equal parts (the recipe says it makes six scones, but I had enough for eight) and smushed them with my hands until they were a nice round-ish shape, then put them on the baking tray (with a new piece of parchment paper). One egg scrambled up for a generous egg wash, then a sprinkle of brown sugar and sea salt, and then into the oven at 375 for forty minutes (again, my oven is persnickety).
Once they came out of the oven, I had to fend off my baking assistant so that I wouldn't have to share with him. I want to eat these every day forever.*
*Mine actually didn't keep all that well (I also didn't cool them on a wire rack because I don't have a wire rack). So just go ahead and eat them all right away, since that's what you're going to want to do.