Last year this time I was in British Columbia enjoying an Indian summer--finishing research for my TEA book. On October 6, my birthday, I savored a luxury hotel suite with a panoramic view in Seattle. It was bliss but I confess I was homesick. I missed my beloved companions: Skyler and Zen, my Aussie and Siamese boys... On Thursday this year, I'll be home at Lake Tahoe missing the Alaska trip that didn't happen due to a "hurricane-force" storm. (I almost rebooked to Georgia/Savannah but something stopped me...) On the upside: the TEA book is done, accepted, and in production. Hopefully a good swim outdoors (the indoor pool is down), hot tub, dog walk to the beach with my sibling--and homemade scones with coffee in the morning will suffice and give me that "endolphin" high. It may not be the Pacific Northwest--but Tahoe, the mountains is my home. This is the time of year when sweet and spicy edibles enter your oven and warm up your kitchen and spirit. Autumn scones are best made with nature’s finest ingredient: apples. One apple contains 100 calories, heart-healthy fiber, potassium, and other stay healthy nutrients. And, an apple a day means fewer doctors to pay--my kitchen is full of apples--a variety of flavors and textures. So, I baked a batch of good-for-you autumn apple harvest scones to love.
More recipes similar to this one are in the new 3rd edition available wherever books are sold
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour (more flour more crunchy cookie-type texture, less flour more dense cake-like)
1⁄4 cup organic white or brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
11⁄2 teaspoons cinnamon
1⁄4 cup European style butter (cold cubes)
1 brown egg
1⁄2 cup organic milk (or try buttermilk or Greek yogurt)
1 teaspoon white vinegar (mixed with milk it provides a poor man's buttermilk)
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup Granny Smith apples, firm, chopped to small chunks (or try dried cranberries, prunes, apricots, or strawberries)
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins
Raw sugar (unless you make a glaze) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and spice. Add chunks of butter, sliced in small squares. In another bowl, combine milk, vinegar, egg and honey and stir. Combine wet ingredients with dry. Stir until a dough-like mixture forms. Fold in apples, raisins and nuts. I prefer drop scones for their rustic look and easy to do form. Drop large spoonful of dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake for 12-15 minutes or till golden brown.
For an extra autumn touch drizzle with a maple frosting glaze: Mix approximately 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1/8 cup melted butter, 3 to 4 tablespoons low-fat milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon maple extract. Swirl a spoonful of glaze-like frosting on scones when warm. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Serves 12 medium-large scones.
This treat is fit to warm you up on a cold October day at Lake Tahoe or where you can both see and taste fall. So, what type of beverage goes well with autumn fruit scones? Ah, let me count the drinks of choice. Low-fat milk organic chocolate milk heated up and sprinkled with cinnamon hits the spot. Hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick can’t be beat. Pumpkin spice black tea or calming chamomile brew is fall-ish, too. Add a dog and cat, a crackling fire, cozy up, and tune into your favorite movie.