After a late night Halloween party, the idea of a quick, easy, comforting brunch feels just right to me. I love that I always have a batch of scones in my freezer so when weekend mornings like this arrive, along with someone to share a special warm breakfast, I can pop these in my oven and look like I’m just an amazing baker!
Warm baked apples compliment the scones perfectly. This is a favorite fall dish that my friends always request the recipe. It’s like having apple pie but a healthier version sans crust. I prepared the apples using agave as a sweetener instead of using brown sugar and was very happy with the results. The apples can be served also with warm bowls of oatmeal or topped on pancakes or waffles.
The scones are spiced with cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg. The texture was not as dry as a typical scone due to the pumpkin puree. The aroma of the baking apples and scones filled my home with soothing warmth this morning!
Adapted from King Arthur Flour recipe
1 ¾ cup unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
½ cup cold butter
1 cup to 2 cups minced crystallized ginger, cinnamon chips or chocolate chips
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
2 large eggs
Milk for brushing on scones and coarse sugar or cinnamon sugar for sprinkling
In a large food processor or mixing bowl, process or whisk together the flours sugar, baking powder, salt and spices. Work in the butter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly having some larger chunks of butter remaining. Stir in the ginger or chips.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and eggs until smooth. Add the pumpkin/egg to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together.
Portion the dough into two sections and place each onto a floured board to shape into two disks. Flatten down to about 3/4″ thick and about 5″ circle. Using a knife or bench knife slice each disk into 6 wedges. At this point the scones can be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen until ready to bake (and proceed with the remaining directions). If not freezing for future use, still freeze the disks uncovered for 30 minutes to produce a better texture and higher rise.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brush each disk with milk and sprinkle on coarse white sugar or cinnamon sugar. Bake the scones for 22 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the scones from the oven and serve warm. Wrap any leftovers airtight and store a room temperature. Reheat very briefly in the microwave if desired.
Adapted from Cooking Light , November 2005
2 cups dried cranberries
1 ¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup packed brown sugar or ½ cup agave
½ cup water
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon nutmeg
6 Gala Apples, cored and chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large casserole. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake another 30 minutes or until apples are soft and lightly browned.
To make ahead: chop the nuts and combine with the cranberries, sugar and spices. In the morning chop the apples and mix all together.
NOTE: When baking scones and apples together, I began the apples first at 350 degrees for the first 30 minutes and then raised the temperature to 425 degrees to bake the scones and finish off the apples.