I promise that what you are about to consume is simply a delicious combination of apple and cheese in a scone-y blanket, and has in no way come in contact with the floor (unless of course you drop your own batch, but then ... that's on you). Everything has to have a story though, am I right? This one happens to be true.
**Picture a warm summer night. A family, my family to be exact, is gathered around the dinner table at a cottage up north. Dinner has been had, dishes done, and the table reset for dessert. The cottage is filled with the sweet aroma of something baking in the oven - an apple pie. The familial togetherness mixed with the anticipation of pie creates a warm, cozy atmosphere, and everyone eagerly awaits the moment when ... DING. The oven timer goes off, and my mom walks into the kitchen. She pulls the pie from the oven and shuts the door. She turns and walks back toward the table of hungry diners and ... PLOP. The pie slips from her fingers and lands, rather ungracefully, at her feet. We glance at each other around the table, wide-eyed, and then, in a collective voice we say (more or less) "meh. five second rule". The pie is unceremoniously scooped up, dished out, and served with what my grandpa would consider its only natural accompaniment: a big ol' chunk of cheddar cheese. Everyone shares a laugh, and tucks in. Moments later, grinning, I hold out my empty plate and say "hey mom, can I have some more floor dust?"**
Thus, floor dust was born. That memory, an incredibly fond one of family and, well, pie, has stuck with me for many years. My fondness for the sweet and savoury combination of apple and cheese has stayed with me too, and from that (with a little help from Smitten Kitchen), these scones came into creation. Largely savoury with a hint of sweetness, they are perfect for breakfast, as a light lunch alongside a salad, or just about anytime of day you can think of. I hope you'll make them, and share them with someone that you love (you won't want to share them with anyone else ... trust me. They're that good).
To the man who introduced my love for this quirky flavour combination: these are for you, gramps. Love and miss you.
"Floor Dust Scones" (adapted from Apple and Cheddar Scones from Smitten Kitchen)
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into chunks, about 1/8 inch
1/8 scant teaspoon cinnamon
1 small pinch of nutmeg, approx. 1/16 teaspoon
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on top
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated (white or orange, it depends on your desired colour in the end)
6 Tablespoons, or about 3oz., cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 heavy cream, or whipping cream will do
2 large eggs (one for the scones, one for an egg wash)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and lay the peeled apple chunks on in an even layer. Bake until slightly golden, soft to the touch, and dry, about twenty minutes. Set them aside to cool completely. In a medium sized bowl, whisk dry ingredients together, and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat together butter, cooled apple chunks, cheese, cream, and one egg. Add the dry mix, slowly, and beat just until a dough begins to form. It's important not to overmix (butter chunks aren't a problem, in fact, that's what we want! It will help the finished product to be nice and flaky.) Turn the dough out onto a generously floured surface (it's going to be sticky!), and form into a circle. Cut the circle into six or eight even scone triangles, depending on your desired size, and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg with a pinch of salt, and brush over each scone. Sprinkle each scone with a little sugar, and bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Leave to cool on the tray about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Best enjoyed warm.