Saturday, December 17, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Yogurt Scones

Frosted Evergreen
When I lived in the Midwest, the restaurant across the street from my apartment sold wonderful scones -- which (probably for the best) I didn't try until my last year living there, thanks to a friend I met during a 2 week long field trip for a Sustainable Agriculture class. This friend talked up these scones endlessly and after losing a bet with him (I don't even remember what we bet on!), I brought him a blueberry-lemon scone from this restaurant, which was the one he requested. Since I had to buy one for him anyway, I bought one for myself, just to try it. And then I was hooked.

The scones had none of the qualities I dislike about scones. They were moist, namely, rather than crumbly. They had flavor, personality. I wound up buying a scone a week for a while, until I decided to give up gluten. Giving up those scones was one of the hardest things about going gluten-free. In fact, I've replicated them in the non-vegan version before, in one of my posts about things to do with mulberries.

Warning to those of you who have found my blog by looking for vegan or gluten-free recipes. This recipe is neither. I made these scones because I planned to take a few scones to a dinner party and I wanted something that wasn't nearly as sweet as the "breakfast" (dessert) style scones I'd made. These are much closer to many traditional scones in their lightly-sweetness, but still aren't the type of scones that crumble (or shatter) as you take a bite out of them. I've got no interest in making those.

However, this is apple season and I've got a few apples that are softer than I generally like for eating. I'm a bit picky about how soft apples are "allowed" to be, which in my mind, is "not at all soft." Apples should be crisp. For this recipe, I'm using one Gold Rush and one apple that I've already forgotten the name of, both bought from my local growers market--from a farmer who grows more than 60 types of apples and has been generous enough to talk to me about the apples (and recommend books about apple varieties and cultivation) for the past three months.

These scones are different from the standard buttermilk scones in that I use yogurt instead--the same principle, but less liquid. To help balance this, I use both yogurt and whipping cream (you could use 1/2 cup of yogurt instead, potentially, but you might need to add some additional liquid) that I've curdled with lemon juice--this also lets me reduce the amount of butter I use.

If you're in the mod for apple cinnamon scones, here are a few other suggestions:

*Chocolate chips with orange zest (like the Joy the Baker recipe originally called for)
*Cranberry white-chocolate (use a white chocolate glaze with fresh cranberries and lemon zest kneaded into the batter)

There are many more combinations of course, depending on what flavors you like.

Apple Cinnamon Scones
makes four large or six small scones

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon thyme
2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold butter
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup low-fat or non-fat yogurt
1/4 cup whipping cream mixed with 2 teaspoons lemon juice or cider vinegar

Easy Apple Compote (see my post on this)

Place rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, nutritional yeast, thyme, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. In another bowl, egg yolk, egg yolk, and whipping cream. Add to flour mixture all at once, stirring enough to make a soft dough.

Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead about 15 times. Roll or pat out into a 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into 8 large or 12 small squares (or more).

On half the squares, spread a thin amount of apple compote(amount will depend on the size square you’re using and how much jam you want. I make small squares and use about 1-2 tablespoons compote). Place the remaining, squares on top to make a “sandwich.” 

Place scones on prepared baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees F for 12-15 minutes.  

Let cool for 5-10 minutes, and then serve.

Half have a maple syrup glaze


  1. I must confess I have only ever made scones successfully from a mix! Mine frequently seem to turn out like bland, dry, cookies. Might have to give this recipe a try. i didn't know you took the 509 course - isn't it great? Also, I'm all curious now - are you going to start an apple orchard with all that apple knowledge?

  2. I loved 509! It was fantastic (and Betty and Gretchen were still talking about you). I'd love for it to have lasted longer, or for the opportunity to have taken it multiple years for credit (if only I'd learned about it sooner). An apple day, maybe, when there's money. That will come after the chickens, I think. :) I really want chickens. Also. I might want to come visit...if that might be possible. Not any time soon...after July 31, assuming I stay west-ish.

  3. Thank you for the recipe. My wife and I love them, and for that matter anyone we serve them to. Our only change is we use greek yogurt because that is what we have on hand.