Cheesy Weekend Brunch: Buttery, Fruity Scones | culture: the word on cheese
☰ menu   

Cheesy Weekend Brunch: Buttery, Fruity Scones

Apple-Cheddar Scones

For flaky, tender scones, keep butter in the freezer (cut it up beforehand) until ready to use. Why? When cold butter that’s been cut into dough melts in a hot oven, it releases little puffs of steam and air that help develop flaky layers in the finished product. Serve the scones warm.


  • tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into ¼-inch chunks, divided
  • ¾ cup peeled diced apple (try Empire, Cortland, or Granny Smith varieties)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
  • ½ cup coarse cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
  • 4 ounces 2-year cheddar cheese such as Grafton Village Cheese 2-Year, diced
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar


  • Heat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.
  • >Melt ½ tablespoon butter in a small skillet over medium heat. When it foams, add apple and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar over apples and stir to coat. Continue to cook, stirring, for another 3 to 4 minutes, until the apples have softened and begun to caramelize. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • >Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons sugar together with flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add sage, cheese, and remaining 8 tablespoons butter and rub into mixture with your fingertips until mixture is shaggy and pebbly.
  • >Whisk together egg, buttermilk, cream, and vinegar in a small bowl and pour over dry ingredients. Stir gently with a fork until dough comes together. Knead in the bowl or turn dough over itself a few times with a rubber spatula.
  • >Transfer to a lightly floured work surface (dough will be sticky) and pat into a ½-inch-thick square. Cut into 12 even pieces and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, until scones are browned on top with bits of lacy-crisp melted cheese around the edges.

Photographed by Armando Rafael. Styled by Leslie Orlandini

Leigh Belanger

Leigh Belanger is culture's former food editor. She's been a food writer, editor, and project manager for over a decade— serving as program director for Chefs Collaborative and contributing to local newspapers and magazines. Her first book, The Boston Homegrown Cookbook, was published in 2012. She lives and cooks in Boston with her family.

Leave a Reply