Apple Day, Victorian Orchards and
Apple & Dorset Blue Vinny Scone Bread Recipe
Today is Apple Day in the UK, a day to celebrate our home-grown apples and cherish them…….the day was first started in 1990 by Common Ground in Covent Garden. The following year it launched nationwide with over 50 events ranging from apple road-shows grafting classes and village hall markets. By 2000 the day was celebrated in over 600 events around the country, and abroad! Events were organised by restaurants, museums, Women’s Institutes, cider makers, community orchards and garden societies, to name but a few. I had planned to “dress my apple trees” today, as you may remember me discussing last week – Taste the Season with British Apples and Pears: Apple, Bramble & Pear Tray Bake Recipe; but, the weather was inclement today and so my apple tree dressing was put to one side. So, instead, what better than to bake with APPLES; with a couple of apples (Russets) left over from my apple and pear shopping expedition from Sainsbury’s last week, where they have an incredible 52 varieties on sale, I decided to celebrate apple day in my kitchen.
Before I ventured into my kitchen, I read with interest an article on the Telegraph (newspaper) website: Apple Day 2012: Beyond Bramley – the best of British cooking apples; Ian Hodgson writes that we all think we have only one variety of cooking apple today, the Bramley, but the Victorians grew dozens…….he goes on to say that cooking apples, the glory of high Victorian dining, are dominated by just one variety nowadays, the ‘Bramley’s Seedling’, and home production continues to be severely challenged by imports from other countries, including the United States, France, Chile, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and even China, by far the world’s largest apple producer……it makes for depressing reading when it appears that we are only 38th in the world ranking, as an apple producing nation nowadays…….I DO remember my grandmother grew a fabulous cooking apple, much better than the Bramley (in my opinion) called Catshead Cookers……..oh for a few more Catshead apple trees now.
But back to my Dorset kitchen, as it became today, as I decided to create a lovely new scone recipe for Apple Day and for the Best of British blog challenge that is currently visiting the apple growing county of Dorset – Best of British Cooking & Blog Challenge visits Dorset, for Apples, Cheese and Rabbit Pie……this recipe is based on an old “emergency” bread recipe my mum used to make, (a quick bread with no yeast) but has an egg added for richness, as well as a (Sainsbury’s) Russet apple and some Dorset Blue Vinny cheese……and, as you can see from the photos, it was a HUGE success with a light crumb and a rich apple and cheese flavour. We ate this for tea, warm and spread with salted butter and some chutney I made last week – Apple, Fig and Pear Chutney with Cardamom.
I think this is a perfect bake for Apple Day and I have already had requests from my family to make it again, to accompany some soup or a hearty stew maybe…..I also think it’s a lovely recipe to show case one of Dorset’s finest products, Blue Vinny cheese, and it certainly complimented the tartness of the apple very well in this scone recipe. If you have all your ingredients to hand, this recipe can be made and on the tea time table in half an hour, now how’s that for “Fast Food”! So, before I share the recipe with you, let me wish you all a happy Apple Day; lets try to embrace our British heritage and apples, as well as all our other orchard fruits, and try to support British orchards, as well as persuade the major supermarkets to do the same. (with kudos to Sainsbury’s for their efforts already) Have a wonderful evening, and see you tomorrow……..Karen
Apple & Dorset Blue Vinny Scone Bread
|Prep time||10 minutes|
|Cook time||20 minutes|
|Total time||30 minutes|
|Allergy||Egg, Milk, Wheat|
|Meal type||Bread, Breakfast, Lunch, Side Dish, Snack|
|Misc||Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot|
|Occasion||Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving|
|By author||Karen S Burns-Booth|
- 8 ozs (225g) self raising flour
- 2 ozs (50g) butter or margarine
- 3 ozs (75g) Dorset blue vinny cheese (crumbled, or other cheese of your choice)
- 1 eating apple, peeled, cored and grated (I used a Russet apple, but Cox's would be good too)
- 1 large egg, beaten (mixed with 4 tablespoons milk)
- extra milk for the glaze
A scone round that is similar in texture to "quick bread" with grated apple and blue cheese added, making it a special savoury style scone, perfect when served warm with butter and served with salad, or even soups and stews.
|Step 1||Heat oven to 220ºC, 425ºF, Gas Mark 7. Grease a baking tray. |
|Step 2||Rub the butter or margarine into the flour. Stir in cheese and grated apple and mix well. |
|Step 3||Mix to a soft dough with the egg and milk, reserving a little for glazing. (Add more milk if the dough is too dry) |
|Step 4||Roll out to a round 1.5 cm (½ inch) in thickness and cut into 8 triangles. |
|Step 5||Place on the baking tray and brush with milk and a little flour. Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes until golden brown.|
|Step 6||Serve warm with butter.|
More about Apple Day from Orchard Network:
In 1990, dismayed by the loss of so many traditional orchards and amazed at the 3,000 or so varieties of apples that have been grown here, Common Ground set out to create a new calendar custom to celebrate our most versatile fruit and the beautiful orchards they come from.
The first Apple Day was held on October 21 in 1990 in the old Apple Market in Covent Garden, London, bringing fruit back there for the first time in 17 years. It struck a chord. Since then, Common Ground have worked to extend, support and promote Apple Day countrywide through nurseries, fruit farms, restaurants, National Trust and RHS gardens, museum, art centres, community groups and schools who celebrate the day in their own place, in their own way.
Sue Clifford says; “Apple Day is not a marketing device, its creation has been impelled by altruism and idealism for living better with nature – the apple and the orchard are symbols of hope. They demonstrate how we can have our trees, bees, bats, butterflies, birds and badgers whilst growing good fruit to eat and drink.”
For more information on Apple Day, including ideas for games and activities, visit the Common Ground website: Common Ground
I am also entering this recipe into Bake Your Own Bread hosted by Heather of Girlichef, Michelle from Delectable Musings and Connie from My Discovery of Bread.
As well as Twelve Loaves hosted by Cake Duchess, Creative Culinary and Lifesafeast.
A Best of British Dorset entry
Last year, I was all ready to go to Acorn Bank near Appleby and the Apple Day was called off due to flooding. I suspect it would have been dampt his year too, but it was a glorious sunny weekend. This year, I wasn’t available to go! One day I’ll get to an Apple Day event!
What a shame that apple day was cancelled due to flooding, and like you, I suspect it will be this year as it has been raining non stop……thanks for stopping by my apple day here Janice! Karen
Yay for Apple Day and yay for you Karen. We had hundreds of varieties of apple in this country not so very long ago and it makes me so cross that we import any apples at all – we so don’t need to. Your scone looks superb and I’ve bookmarked this. It would be great with one of my mother’s Cornish cookers and some Cornish Blue. My mother always used to make scones in a round like yours, so I’m feeling all nostalgic now. I’d forgotten about Dorset being Best of British this month, must get on to it.
Thanks Choclette, I am so glad that someone else feels as passionate as I do about British apples……why we have to import any at all is beyond comprehension…… Karen
scones look wonderful
Thanks so much, and easy to make too!
Louisa Foti says
These scones look and sound fabulous, and I’m so loving the blue cheese addition. I do miss wonderful British apples and the amazing variety. My mum and granny also used to bake their scones in a ring like yours!
Thanks Louisa – I love all the varieties of apples we get in the UK and I often add blue cheese to my baking! Karen
This looks INCREDIBLE! So moisty and fluffy…your photos are mouthwatering! I have a lot of apples to use up, might have to give this a go!
Oops…that should be ‘moist’, not ‘moisty’!
Moist or moisty, it matters not Elly! Thanks so much for your lovely comments……Karen
what a delicious idea… I love blue cheese with apples, it’s a wonderful combination and what an excellent idea to bake it into bread… one of the things i miss about not being at Gunby is the orchard of over 70 varieties of apples… we were very lucky to have had the chance to taste some really rare flavours… well done you for celebrating Apple Day in such style and with such incredible photography! xx
Thanks Dom, yes, I suspect you often miss Gunby Hall…..but, at least you had the opportunity to taste all of those amazing heirloom apples when you worked there…..thanks for your very kind comments! Karen
These scones look seriously amazing and good – maybe the best scones I”ve seen almost ever! And the apples with the blue cheese is fantastic! We would eat local apples at my in-laws but who knows where my apples come from now. Although we do have the pleasure of a wide variety and when I bake I like to use different varieties together – some firm, some meltingly smooth, some sweeter, some tarter. And now I HAVE to try these scones!
Thanks so much Jamie, I am a BIG apple lover, and bake and cook with them regularly – who doesn’t love an apple pie! Karen
I am a full supporter of British apples and have planted my first apple tree this year. In fact, I was surprised when in France this summer at how poor the choice was in apples compared to ours. Luckily for me we get free reign to apples at the allotment so I have been using them in many dishes. Now, I need to try out your fantastic scone round!
I know Laura, the apples on display in France are very poor, and I am not a lover of Golden Delicious and the like….no flavour or crunch!Karen
Coffee and Crumpets says
I read that very same article today! I was looking for British apple varieties because living in the US we only find American ones. I left the UK as a teen and had no interest in cooking back then. Now I long to cook back home!
I love your scone bread. It looks spectacular and made with British apples. Love it!
Thanks so much Nazeen, the recipe just hit the spot on Apple Day and we all enjoyed it warm from the oven with butter….and a cup of Yorkshire tea!
Javelin Warrior says
I saw this scone bread and immediately started drooling, Karen 😀 The texture is amazing and I love the use of apples… I’m featuring this post as part of Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution) and thanks for making me drool!
LOL! Thanks JW! 🙂 So pleased you like this recipe and thanks for featuring me again in your FFF link up, it’s always a privilege to be featured there! Have a great weekend. Karen
Fiona Burns says
This looks so tasty – fab. Could eat a piece now.
Thanks Fiona, it was a really lovely scone bread and the apples and blue vinny cheese were perfect together, Karen
hello from across the pond! I just made these using what we call here (Washington DC area) a “Pink Lady” apple and crumbled Danish blue cheese which hopefully is somewhat like Dorset Blue Vinny (as I was not able to find that here, sorry) and yum! House smelled wonderful while baking and they look so lovely on the plate – and I am too impatient to wait for my husband to get home so have already scarfed one down :-). They are delicious! Perfect accompaniment to the soup and salad we will be having shortly for dinner. I love the idea of Apple Day, sounds like a great time to plan a trip to the UK around.
Thanks so much Pam for stopping by to tell me you made this scone bread recipe! I know of Pink Lady apples, we also have them in the UK too and of course I know and LOVE Danish Blue cheese, so those were great substitutions! I bet these would make a great accompaniment to all sorts of stews and soups, and also as tea time sandwiches with ham and chutney too!
Cheryl Bell says
Wow! This sounds lush! I’ve just printed off the recipe. My hubby would love this!
Maya Russell says
Love the recipe – no pre-rising needed. We’ve lots of apple trees which have not given a good yield the last few years. Hope this year will be better.
Fiona Matters says
This looks just lovely! I have some apples that need using up so this is tempting. Not sure I have any cheese though… Hmm.
Shared on twitter.
Maya Russell says
Will definitely try this recipe. Dorset Blue Vinny cheese sounds interesting.
Lisa Williams says
this sounds like such a great combination of flavours 🙂 Thank you !