Elephants, Inspiration, and Sage, Apple, and Cheddar Scones



(Previously posted on Buried Carrots)

I wanted to see the elephants. I wanted to do something different with my day. While out for my early morning run, I took a different turn from my usual route so that I would run past the zoo and see the elephants through the fence. I knew from a past visit that the zookeepers hide food from them inside the enclosure because the animals enjoy the game of hide and seek. And sure enough, there they were, quietly seeking out their morning treats. I like to see them when they don’t know anyone is watching, before the gates of the zoo open and they are flooded with noisy visitors. I like to see them peacefully enjoying the cool, quiet morning, undisturbed.

Many days I run the same route, turn after turn. I could see the elephants every day if I chose to; they are only a little out of the way. But so often something pulls me along my usual way: I have to be at work, I have to run the errands, I have to, I have to, I have to.

Today I have to do something differently.

Visit the elephants.

Then come home and continue the grind, but with a fresh perspective because I shook up my day — even if just a tiny bit — and did something to make myself smile.

It worked.

After weeks of feeling uninspired in the kitchen, I suddenly felt renewed. Freshly baked Sage, Apple and Cheddar scones soon filled the kitchen counter and the house smelled of autumn. Sharp cheddar, sweet apples and fragrant sage make these savory scones the perfect match with a hot cup of soup – just the thing when fall is right around the corner.

So do something differently. Visit the elephants. Make the day unique. You might find that it’s just the thing to put a spring back in your step.

Sage, Apple and Cheddar Scones: 

4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup very cold butter cut into small pieces
2 large eggs
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 green or red apples, finely diced
3 teaspoons finely minced sage 
½ cup diced sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 375˚

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Pulse to mix. Add the cold butter to the flour mixture and pulse until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in the apples, cheddar and sage. Place in freezer for 5 minutes.

In a small bowl combine the eggs and ¼ cup of the heavy cream. Whisk well to combine.

Add eggs and cream to the flour mixture and stir until dough just comes together. Add additional tablespoons of heavy cream if necessary.

Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface. For mini scones divide the dough into four equal portions. Form each portion into a rough circle 5-6 inches across. Cut each circle into 6-8 wedges. For large scones form two 8-10 inch circles, then cut into wedges.

Place wedges on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.

Recipe adapted from Good Life Eats.

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