Apple Cheddar Scones + Tillamook Trip
Apple Cheddar Scones? Yes. They are amazing. The sweet, tart green apple and gooey, warm pockets of sharp cheddar are a match made in heaven. My husband always asks me where I get the inspiration for my recipes. For this particular recipe, the inspiration came from a brief visit to Oregon when I was lucky enough to attend an event hosted by Tillamook with a group of fellow food bloggers. We spent a lot of time eating cheese and ice cream together and this pregnant lady was very happy about all of that. I think I filled my calcium quota for the next 3 months. Aside from eating all of the things, we also learned a lot about how their company works. We met some of their key employees who work to make sure the products they put out on the shelves are of the highest quality. We were able to soak in the beauty that is the Oregon coast. And perhaps most importantly, we were able to make a personal connection with a company that has truly proven itself over and over again throughout the years. I didn't really have one specific company I looked to for cheese, ice cream, or yogurt, but now I do.
Seriously. So. Much. Cheeeeeeeese.
I'm convinced a huge reason for the balanced flavor and consistent quality of Tillamook's cheese is thanks to this guy:
This is Dale. He has been working at Tillamook for 45 years. Yep. You read that correctly. FORTY-FIVE YEARS. He knows what he is doing and takes his cheese very seriously. That's my kind of guy.
We were also able to visit Jill who is the Product Quality Manager. All I have to say is this: if I'm ever in a taste-testing competition I don't want to be up against her. Her taste buds are seriously talented. Yes, that's absolutely possible.
After our tour at the factory, we headed to the coast where we got to check out our room at the Inn at Cape Kawanda. If Brad and I get a chance to take a parents only vacation any time soon I want it to happen here. The rooms have gorgeous views of the ocean that are enchanting (perhaps more so) despite the heavy fog that settled over the area while we were there.
That night, we enjoyed a pretty amazing dinner on the ocean. And by dinner I mean I filled myself up on the incredible appetizers and didn't have room for an actual dinner. I mean, look at these oysters. Those plus a cheese plate, some amazing fritters, and clam chowder were enough to send me over the edge.
Of course, I had plenty of room for dessert: Tillabars. Oh man. Enjoying one of those while sitting around a campfire with a group of talented women who I grew to greatly admire with a pretty incredible ocean backdrop was just about perfect.
The following day, I woke up early to sit on the balcony, drink some coffee, and enjoy my last look at the view from my room. It was lovely.
Then, we visited one of the Tillamook dairy farms and spent some time with a lot of these ladies:
They were super curious, especially when my baby bump got close enough to the fence. It is possible that I flew home that night with a big, muddy cow nose print on my shirt directly over my belly button.
Here's the deal: running a dairy farm, or any farm for that matter, is a lot of work. The family who ran this particular farm were incredible. They love the cows and are full of knowledge about how to take care of their cows starting at birth. I am still in total awe of their dedication and ability to dedicate their lives to these animals.
Needless to say, I fell in love with Oregon thanks to this Tillamook Blogger Summit.
And I fell even more in love with their cheese.
And ice cream.
When I came home, I went straight to Costco and bought a huge block of Tillamook Sharp Cheddar and got to work using it in any way I could imagine. These scones are my favorite thing so far. They are full of fall flavor thanks to the apples and a little sprinkle of nutmeg with pockets of gooey, melty cheese in each bite.
Tillamook sharp cheddar is really the best choice for cheese in this recipe. The sharpness is key. No mild or medium cheddar here, folks!
Apple Cheddar Scones
Total time: 20 minutes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- 1 granny smith apple, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
- Scatter the butter over the flour mixture and use your hands to work it into the dry ingredients until it resembles wet sand with some pieces remaining pea-sized.
- Stir in the apple and cheese cubes and mix to coat them.
- Stir in the heavy cream with a fork until the mixture is just combined.
- Turn the dough onto a work surface and knead together until there are no dry spots and the dough just comes together.
- Pat into a circle about 8 inches in diameter.
- Cut into 8 triangles and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for about 13 minutes or until golden brown on top.
This recipe is based on the cream scones recipe from Cook's Illustrated: Baking. If you don't own that book, GET IT NOW.