Jul 8, 2011

Apple Scone Pie

Nothing beats a cup of fresh brewed coffee and some warm pastry in the morning. Now everyone knows I have some sort of a Starbucks addiction. I have at least 5 different Starbucks cards, a customized Gold Card on the way, and I know exactly what is in each of their drinks (did you know they put SIX pumps of syrup into a venti ice tea?) Without the venti black coffee to start my morning, I would get a pounding headache and fall into a downward spiral of some sort of depression (sitting at my cubicle, silently working), irritation (sitting at my cubicle, shaking legs, rolling eyes or mumbling bitchy remarks to myself while getting the bare minimal done), or extreme crankiness (startled, frantically delegating all job responsibilities, do not respond to any questions and set up my phone to go straight to voicemail). I was lucky not to get fired from my job, but I did go through a personal coffee rehab that was somewhat successful.

The point of this story is, I am still waiting for my Gold Card. I am still drinking coffee once in a while, but if there's one thing I learned from rehab, it is that coffee is not fuel and I gotta eat something to go along with it. So here I am, baking away, and showing you my second apple-related creation: apple scone pies. God I love breakfast food. 

As with all scone recipes, this is a little more time consuming than muffins or cakes. Not difficult, just time consuming. You will need a lot of patience to cut the whole stick of butter into little chunks. You also need to remember, the less touching and handling the dough, the better. It look me about 45 minutes to get the dough ready for baking, so to you suckers that have a full-time job, don't try it during the week.

I used a square pan instead of a round pie pan, so they look like scone sandwiches! 

Apple scone pies (adapted from JoyofBaking.com)

Makes about 8 pies on a 9 inch pie pan

2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 heaping teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 apples, cut into chunks
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cups chopped walnut or pecans 

Milk or Cream
Granulated white sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9" pie pan. 
2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. 
3. Cut butter into small pieces (around the size of your pinky nail, or smaller), and blend into the flour mixture with 2 forks. If the chunks are too big, break it with the flat side of your fork, or use your fingers (but if you do, do so quickly so you don't warm the butter too much). The end result should look like coarse crumbs.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, milk and vanilla extract. Add to flour mixture until a dough forms, do not overmix!!

** If your dough is too wet (sticks to the bowl and doesn't form a ball), add more flour. If your dough is too dry (wet ingredients don't absorb all the dry), add more milk. The perfect dough should be very soft, and yet comes together easily without sticking to any surface**

5. Transfer dough to lightly floured surface and knead dough four or five times only. Over-kneading will make your scone very hard and chewy. 
6. Cut the dough into half, roll one half into a 9.5 inch circle. Transfer to the pan and make sure to cover the side. 
7. In a separate bowl, toss together the cut apples, sugar, cinnamon, and nuts. Spread evenly on the dough in the pie pan.
8. Roll remaining dough into a 9 inch circle, and place the dough on top of the apple mixture. Use your finger to seal the edges of the top and bottom crusts.
9. Brush the top of the dough with milk or heavy cream, and sprinkle with sugar. Cut a slit in the center of the dough. 
10. Bake for 35-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean.

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