Caramelized Apple Scones

What’s that saying? An apple a day … 🍎🍎🍎 These scones are a really fun way to start your day, with apple chunks mixed into the dough and caramelized apple slices on top. We use the pan drippings from cooking the apples to moisten and flavor the icing on top, so you get plenty of cinnamon and apple spice with these breakfast treats. 

We recommend using very cold butter for making your scones. A friend once told me the key to good scones is to have cold hands and a warm heart! 🧡  We like to cut the butter into cubes and then refrigerate it until we’re ready to incorporate it into the flour mixture.  We love to greet our house guests in the morning with homemade scones and these are our latest version. Once you’ve tried these, you can check out our Maple & Toasted Pecan Scones, too! If you like maple syrup, you will love those! Look for our Almond Scones soon!

Caramelized Apple Scones

There are two steps to making the apples for this recipe, first simmering small pieces for the dough, and second caramelizing the sliced apples to garnish the tops of the scones. Don’t fret, you can use the exact same pan without even cleaning it in between!
Let’s go!
Servings 12 Medium Scones
Prep Time 45 mins
Bake Time 45 mins

Ingredients

Scones

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick 4 oz. butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, and chilled
  • 2 tablespoons butter for cooking the apples
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar for cooking the apples
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon for cooking the apples
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom for cooking the apples
  • 2 cups chopped apple keep skins on and we use Honey Crisp for these scones
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or Half and Half
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • *Optional 1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces

Caramelized Apple Garnish

  • 1 apple cored and very thinly sliced into 36 slices (leave skins on)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup apple juice

Apple Icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
  • 2 tablespoons of the caramelized apple pan drippings
  • 1 tablespoon milk +/-
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Prepare apples for dough

  • In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons brown sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom over medium-low heat.
  • Add the 2 cups of chopped apple to the pan and continue to cook over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, or until apple pieces are cooked al dente, (cooked through, but not mushy). Stir the apples occasionally.
  • Remove apples from the pan and cool to room temperature. Keep the pan juices in the pan for the next step – the caramelized apple garnish.

Prepare apples for garnish

  • In the same pan, add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon brown sugar to any drippings still left in the pan.
  • Pour apple juice over pan drippings and bring just to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until liquid is reduced to about half.
  • Place sliced apples over melted mixture and cook over medium-low heat for about 15-20 minutes, flipping partway through. Apple slices will reduce slightly in size as they cook and will become caramelized in the syrup. If the liquid becomes too reduced during the cooking, stir in a little more apple juice.
  • Remove apple slices from the pan, lay them out in a single layer on waxed paper or parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray, and cool.
  • Reserve 2 tablespoons of the pan drippings for the icing. If you don’t have this much left, just add a little more apple juice and cook down to the right amount of liquid. This sauce should be very syrupy in texture.

Scones

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  • Place flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Using your cold fingertips, or a pastry cutter, cut chilled butter into the flour until it is well integrated and the butter lumps are no bigger than small peas.
  • Add the cooked and cooled chopped apple and mix it into the dough with a wooden spoon or fork.  (Note* if you are adding toasted walnuts, add them at this point.)
  • In a glass measuring cup, mix cream, apple juice, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir the liquid into the flour-butter-apple mixture and mix into a soft dough. 
  • Gather the dough into a ball and place it on a floured cutting board. Press dough down into a 10-inch flat circle, about 3/4-inch tall. 
  • Cut the circle into 12 triangles. Arrange scones on the prepared baking sheet and bake for approximately 12-14 minutes, or until the scones are set and the tops and edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Icing

  • Meanwhile, mix powdered sugar, pan drippings, milk, and vanilla to make icing for the scones. The consistency should easily drop from a spoon, but not be too runny. If the icing is too firm, simply add a little milk or apple juice, and if it’s too runny, whisk in a little more powdered sugar.
  • Distribute icing evenly over the tops of the scones and arrange three caramelized apple slices on top of each.
  • These store well in a single layer in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days up to a week. They are super tasty cold, but we also love them reheated in a toaster oven! 
Cut the chilled butter into the flour mixture until the butter is the size of tiny peas.
Use chilled butter pieces to incorporate into the flour when making scones.
Cut apples for scone dough into small, 1/2-inch cubes.
Add apple juice to the pan drippings from cooking the chopped apples to caramelize the apple slices.
Cook apples in butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and cardamom until al dente before incorporating them into the scone dough.
Caramelized the apple slices for garnish in the pan drippings with butter, brown sugar and apple juice.
Caramelized Apple Scones – pretty enough to eat!
These caramelized apple scones make a beautiful breakfast treat!

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