The month of September is usually a space of transition for me. So many times it has started out that way: grade school, college, moving, marriage, new jobs, more moving, and third trimesters. I usually look forward to this season of life, eager for something new, something different. Maybe it’s the time of year – summer and autumn intertwine for a few short weeks; the leaves are starting to get lazy high up in their trees; they are itching to let go, let the wind take them. There are apples to pick, new routines, less time in the day. There is a faint humming: everyone chanting change under their breath, picking up pace, moving so fast.
But this time round I’ve just felt stuck. There was a glimmer of change, but it is still hovering around on standby, and I’m not really moving anywhere. Oddly enough it makes me feel rather rebellious as I watch everyone starting fresh, going forward. I want to chant my own words, things like slow down, and just be, and don’t try so hard. I don’t want to keep up; I’m overwhelmed at this fast-paced culture as it is. Right now I’m just trying to figure out how to be grounded.

So I’ve been looking for anchors. I found them, nearby:
my husband’s arms
my son’s hand
my daughter singing
baking a pie
cutting my hair
roasting tomatoes
reading a book
holding a door
eating an appleAnd there, lost in the crisp, white crunch of a Gala, I realized that while so much of time is spent wrestling and questioning and dreaming and scheming, the simple acts of eating touching holding being connect me to this giant circle we all call home more than anything else. Simplicity keeps these feet steady, balanced. Simplicity takes off the pressure, clears the mind. Simplicity walks us home, brings us to the door we’ve been trying so hard to find.So I’m going to just keep reaching for apples. And I will eat them slowly, bite by bite.

If you will stay close to nature, to its simplicity, to the small things hardly noticeable, those things can unexpectedly become great and immeasurable. – Rainer Maria Rilke 

Roasted Apple Scones with Ginger
These scones are definitely more ‘American': a little extra butter and egg make these more on the cake-y side. But, well, that’s the way I like them. This recipe is tweaked from the Barefoot Contessa; over the years I’ve decreased them amount of butter and eggs, and added a little sour cream.

1 large or 2 small baking apples
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
10 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, diced very small
heavy cream for brushing
1-2 tablespoons sugar for sprinkling

Position a rack at the center of oven and preheat oven to 400. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Peel and core the apple[s], then cut them into slices, about 8 [I used an apple corer]. Place them in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake them until they are starting to color and feel dry to the touch, about 20 minutes [they will not be fully baked]  Set them aside to cool completely.

When apples have cooled, coarsely dice 1 cup worth.

Mix flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl [or food processor]. Cut butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter, until butter is pea-sized [or pulse in the food processor]. Whisk together heavy cream, sour cream, egg and vanilla. Pour over the flour mixture and mix until almost combined. Add apples and crystallized ginger, and mix until combined. Turn mixture out onto a parchment lined baking sheet, form into an 8-inch circle that is 1 inch thick. Cut circle into 8 even pieces, and brush tops with a little heavy cream. Sprinkle tops with sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the bottom of the scones are golden brown.

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39 Responses to roasted apple scones with ginger

  1. I like the minimalistic photos of the ingredients. The scones look delicious – can’t go wrong with that flavour profile!

  2. Local Milk says:

    We really were thinking along the same lines. I too struggle with feeling overwhelmed by the pace of our culture. Sometimes it’s paralyzing. I think it’s one of the great human struggles to stay present in the moment and not get caught in the riptides of the past/future… I believe those riptides are the sole source of stress, worry, and feeling over whelmed. So yes, being grounded. Always trying to stay grounded. Baking is good for that. The best, I think. Ok. Enough philosopiesing (ha! pun achieved! sorry, i couldn’t help myself. it’s like a tick…)

    Egg photo. Ginger photo. Scone on tray photo. Awesome. The latter kinda reminds me of a mug shot. But of scones. Seriously. Great work. And nice transition into fall… apples.. ginger… pastries. I wish it was breakfast time all the time. Me & Ron Swanson.

  3. Kimberley says:

    Love this. Love that Rilke quote. I know it’s hard, sometimes, to turn off the noise that impels us to always speed up, but I hope that you can, at least for a little while. :)

  4. this was a beautiful post! calm, calm, breathe, breathe — I’ve been telling myself that a lot lately…:)

  5. These look super fabulous! Gotta love apple and ginger :)

  6. Laura says:

    Usually I’m all “transition, change, new, wooo!” this time of year, but I’ve been feeling overwhelmingly stuck too. In a creative rut, like I’m not moving forward/progressing. I know that I’m working too much, so what you say about slowing down is alarmingly true. Time to get lost in the doing and the feeling once more.

    And I would like one of these yummy scones please :)
    xo

  7. Anna says:

    Your writing and photography are both so beautiful. I am always inspired when I see your work. I have no signs of transition or newness this time of year, but after so many years of change in September I kind of wish for something different this time of year. You’re right, though, it is nice to enjoy things as they are while everyone else is switching gears.

  8. Erin says:

    Wonderful post, Sarah. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve convinced myself to slow down and just be. More often than not, I’ve been figuring out where time has gone because it seems to move too fast. I want (and probably need) to slow down.

    Also, these scones look perfect.

  9. i feel so at peace after reading your words! the photos are beautiful (understatement) and i love the mantra behind the post: let’s all slow down a bit.

  10. Kate says:

    I’m the same way. The same feeling. The same sense of transition. The same need to slow down and simplify. The same……

  11. london bakes says:

    I think that society puts so much pressure on us to always be moving forward, to achieve more, to reach the next goal that actually we forget to sit back and just enjoy the journey. Everyone could do with more simplicity in their lives.

  12. Eileen says:

    These scones sound perfect for an early fall breakfast! I’m so excited to see the real apples returning to the markets. :)

  13. lisa heaner says:

    anchors. settling in to the gentleness and loveliness of a life lived slowly. yes, please. i’ll bring the tea. you bring the scones.

  14. These scones look so good! We’ve had a lot of indecision in our house lately and I’ve been struggling with the unknown, feeling a bit lost. Focusing on the simple things is a good way to stay grounded. Love that quote from Rainer Maria Rilke.

  15. Jenny @ BAKE says:

    I love your ingredient portraits and these scones look delicious!

  16. Oh, these photos are so gorgeous! I’m struggling to feel grounded now, too. Going on walks and looking at the beauty surrounding me opens my heart to the moment, and helps me anchor myself to the present. Looking forward to trying these scones!

  17. Thank you Charlotte! Being in nature helps me, too. Let me know if you make them!

  18. I love love love the photos in this, especially the butter and the egg. Beautiful.

  19. kels says:

    September does have that transition persona, doesn’t it? I’m sorry you’re feeling stuck, friend. Excited to see where it diverts or uplifts the next parts of your path, though. That unstuck feeling only feels so sweet when we know what the stuck part is actually all about, huh? Keeping you in the light. xo

  20. Alicia says:

    Yes, September is about transitions….and these scones are about transitions too…bridging two culinary traditions.

  21. susanne says:

    wonderful words straight into my heart. It’s a bit my current feeling .. looking for simplicity a bit lost in a fast daily life. thank you for this anchor today – xo Susanne

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