When I make things with an apple flavor, I typically reach for whole apples and either cut them into pieces or grate them to get them down to size before incorporating them into a recipe. Applesauce is a pantry staple that I almost always have on hand, but don’t usually think of reaching for when I want an apple flavor. Applesauce lends a milder apple flavor than a piece of apple because it has a bit more moisture in it and no (or few) chunks of apple where the flavor is concentrated. It still has a nice apple flavor, however, and it is easy to work with and can add a lot of moisture to a recipe.
These Applesauce Drop Scones may seen like an unlikely place to see applesauce. Many scones are on the drier side, while these are a bit softer, moister and a little cakier. There are some chopped walnuts thrown in for crunch, too. The applesauce definitely contributes to the moistness in these scones, and it also adds that nice apple flavor. I highlighted the apple by adding in spices that are usually featured in apple cider – cinnamon and allspice – which gives the scones a nice cidery-note and an autumn feel. They’re also very easy to make and taste delicious when served warm with some apple butter.
This dough is soft, which is why I opted to make drop scones with the dough. Drop scones are made much like drop cookies, where the dough is placed on the baking sheet in rounds, rather than rolled and cut into shape. Take care not to overbake these, or the soft scones could dry out a bit too much during baking.
Applesauce Drop Scones
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
6 tbsp butter, cold and cut into several pieces
1/3 cup applesauce, chilled
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
cinnamon sugar, for topping
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Toss butter pieces in flour mixture and cut in with your fingertips until the mixture is sandy and no chunks of butter larger than a small pea remain.
Add in applesauce, milk and walnuts and stir until the dough comes together. If dough is too dry, and not all the flour can be incorporated, add in a few extra teaspoonfuls of milk until the dough comes together.
Drop approx 1/4 cup balls of dough onto prepared baking sheet, making 8 scones. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar
Bake for 18-20 minutes, until scones are set and spring back when lightly pressed.
Cool completely on a wire rack.