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Cheddar Apple Pie Biscuits

  I'm gonna be honest with you here, there's a whole lot going on right now.  A whole lot.  I'm not entirely sure what to call my emotional state of being at this point, it fluctuates and is regularly cut off when I have to turn my brain into work mode.

  But what I do know is that in the midst of all this transition, I am love love loving fall.  Considering that I was in boiling hot Arizona for a couple months and that this time last year I was choking on homework every day, you can imagine the subsequent contentment I get just from taking a stroll and looking at trees.

  I mean, I got to spend my entire Wednesday morning outside in the most perfectly crisp autumn weather selling pumpkins to families, just spreading the seasonal cheer.  My job isn't always perfect or on course, but some mornings you learn to look past the hiccups seasonal employment can bring and just enjoy yourself.  I think that's a good general life lesson, there's always beauty in the world.

  So I'm pleased that Joy the Baker's next challenge was all up in autumn goodness.  I went out on an extra limb and threw some cheese in my biscuit dough, it's a little tip of my hat to the South's famous pairing of apple pie and cheddar.  They were seriously on to something with that, and this is a lovely no-fuss version in all its biscuit-y glory.  The biscuits are the most tender, fluffy things, and the apples are perfectly spiced.  The cheese isn't as apparent as I might like, but it's definitely there.

  Happy first week of fall, I have another month of fudge and caramel apple making ahead of me with some really sweet people, and I'm just gonna do it and figure out everything else as it comes.

Cheddar Apple Pie Biscuits
Yield: 6-7 triangular biscuits

Ingredients for the apples:
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and sliced thin (I used Granny Smith)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Ingredients for the biscuits:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (+ 2 tablespoons if needed)

Ingredients for the topping:
  • Extra buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  

To make the apples, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add the apples, cinnamon, and brown sugar.  Toss together with a wooden spoon until apples are coated and glossy but aren't cooked through, about 2-4 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

To make the biscuit dough, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add the butter and use your fingers to quickly break it down into the flour, until some butter bits are the size of oats and others the size of small peas.  Stir in the sugar.  Toss in the grated cheese.  Create a well in the center of your mixture and add 1/3 cup buttermilk all at once.  Stir together until well moistened and holds together well, the dough should be very soft and moist.  Add more buttermilk as needed to attain this texture.

Generously flour a work surface.  Gather the dough into a ball on the work surface, then gently pat into a rectangle.  With a floured rolling pin, gently roll dough into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle, about 4- x 7-inches.  Arrange cooled apples over one half of the rectangle, leaving a border of dough around the apples on the edges.  Fold the bare side of the dough over the apples and gently press the edges together to seal.  Use your palms to pat into a thicker rectangle if your edges have rounded a bit.  

Use a sharp knife to slice the dough diagonally into 6 triangles.  Place each biscuit onto prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.  In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  Brush each biscuit with the buttermilk, then sprinkle generously with sugar mixture.  

Bake for 12-14 minutes, until biscuits are risen and golden brown.  Remove from oven and serve warm, or cool and store in an airtight container for about 2 days.

Sources: adapted from Joy the Baker