Friday, August 7, 2015

Cheddar, Apple and Rosemary Scones | 車打蘋果迷迭香美式鬆餅

Weeks passed since I've buried myself deep in training and assessments, and now I am back having achieved a major career milestone! Over the last two weeks my body has undergone significant shock, for once in years actually adapting to a lifestyle grounded in routine and one stationary time zone. Soon my body will have to readjust as I embark on my new role. But for now, lets celebrate this occasion wholeheartedly - with none other than the heavenly homemade scone.

Perhaps because scones are often associated with English high tea, I have always regarded scones as a form of royal decadence and indulgence. I took a break from attempting to make my own years ago ever since an epic fail (an irremediably gooey dough that resulted in misshapen choking hazards). After weeks of intense pressure and dreadful cafeteria food, I longed for something comforting and homemade. A block of aged cheddar in my fridge and an overgrown rosemary bush on my rooftop garden gave me just the right nudge for a renewed attempt - and a savory one this time.

Go for mature, sharp white cheddar or other hard cheeses like Gruyere for the best results
Tender, flaky, fluffy, crispy, crunchy, cheesy, savory scones perfumed with the piney scent of fresh rosemary
Makes 8 wedges; alternatively, cut scones into rounds or squares as desired

All apprehension set aside, these scones turned out so fantastic it is safe for me to say that I have never had a better scone in my life. Perhaps it is because I finally got the hang of mixing, and not over mixing; or that I showered it with love; but more likely it may have to do with the apple hidden somewhere inside.

Grate apple with ease or add them diced for a more noticeable crunch
Now, we all know apple and cheddar are a match made in heaven. In this recipe, however, the apple plays more of a supporting role, balancing the sharpness of cheddar and the woodsy, piney aroma of rosemary with a subtle sweetness. More significantly, though rendered invisible after baking, the apple provides just the right amount of moisture that effectively keeps the scone tender and fluffy, thereby reducing the liquid needed in this recipe.

As usual, I am shamelessly bold with fresh herbs in cooking, so feel free to tweak the quantity to suit your preference.

Serve these heavenly scones with Cider Braised Pork Shoulder with Apples and Cranberries.

2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon sugar
113g (1/2 cup) cold butter, cubed or thinly sliced
1 large egg, plus extra for egg wash
3-4 tablespoon milk, plus extra for egg wash
1 firm, tart apple, peeled
3 teaspoon finely minced rosemary*
1/2 cup grated or diced white cheddar

*Tip: using a bullet blender saves time and effort and lessens bruising of the herb

1. Preheat oven to 200C/400F.

2. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add butter and, using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the texture resembles coarse sand. Stir in rosemary and cheddar. Using a hand grater, grate apple into the mixture and stir until evenly coated.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and 3 tablespoons of milk. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the egg mixture, reserving some for the egg wash. Gently fold to combine. If mixture appears too dry or sandy, gradually add remaining milk. Be careful not to over-stir. The mixture may not be fully combined at this point and it is perfectly okay!

4. Turn mixture out on a lightly floured surface and gently knead a few times to bring the dough together. Pat the dough into a 9-inch circle and dust the bottom with flour. Cut the circle into 8 triangles.

5. Place the triangles on a parchment lined baking sheet. Lightly brush with egg wash. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Cool on a wire rack until cool enough to handle. Bask in the heavenly aroma, and try not to finish the scones all at once!

Note: Make ahead and store unbaked scones in the freezer until you need them. Simply brush with egg wash and bake still frozen for a few extra minutes.

Bask in the heavenly scent of cheesy rosemary scones baking away in the kitchen, and melt into ecstasy as you gently break apart a freshly baked scone...
Tried this recipe?
Share with me or leave a comment below! Tag #alvinspenthousekitchen.
Find me on Instagram @alvinckl and @alvin.penthousekitchen and follow my Facebook Fan Page!

【 車打蘋果迷迭香美式鬆餅 】

低筋麵粉                 250 克
泡打粉                     2 茶匙
幼鹽                         1/4 茶匙
砂糖                         1 茶匙
冰凍牛油                115 克
大雞蛋                    1 隻
牛奶                         3 - 4 湯匙
青蘋果                    1 隻
新鮮迷迭香           切碎約 3 茶匙
車打芝士               切碎約 110 克

1. 預熱焗爐至 200C/400F。
2. 牛油切成粒或薄片。
3. 麵粉、泡打粉、幼鹽和糖過篩拌勻。加入牛油,用酥皮切刀搓碎至粗沙質地。
4. 拌入迷迭香碎和芝士。青蘋果去皮刨絲,加入拌勻。
5. 雞蛋和 3 湯匙牛奶攪勻,倒入麵粉裡並搓勻成麵糰。保留少量牛奶蛋液備用。
6. 若麵糰質地偏乾身,可逐少添加牛奶混合。
7. 放在灑上麵粉的工作枱上,把已揉好的麵糰用手壓平至直徑約 9 英寸圓形,再切成共 8 件三角形。
8. 放在鋪有牛油紙的烤盤上,留意每份鬆餅麵糰需隔 1 英吋為佳。掃上牛奶蛋液。放入焗爐焗 20 - 25 分鐘至金黃色便大功告成!

備註:未烤的鬆餅麵糰可先切好並放進冰箱雪藏。需要時只需掃上蛋液,放入已預熱的焗爐焗 25 - 30 分鐘至金黃色即成。

Tried this recipe?
Share with me or leave a comment below! Tag #alvinspenthousekitchen.
Find me on Instagram @alvinckl and @alvin.penthousekitchen and follow my Facebook Fan Page!

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