We had our nephew Brian and his GF over for dinner some time ago, and I cooked a roast pork tenderloin dish that I hadn’t made in a very long time (sadly, I didn’t take any photos and now I know better than to post a recipe without photos ;-), so I’ll have to make it again in the near future). The pork was dressed in a flavourful Apple Cider and Dijon Mustard gravy for which I had to buy fresh Apple Cider. In my area, fresh Apple Cider is sold in 500 mL or larger and because I only needed a couple of cups of the stuff, I bought the 500 mL. So now I had about 4 cups left over. Now we could have drank it, because it was fresh and delicious, but I prefer to eat my fruit rather than drink it so I was left with the dilemma of what to do with all the cider.
I searched high and low and came across some lovely options but not practical; we don’t eat that much cake so a coffee cake was out of the question, we don’t usually eat that many quick breads, so that was out of the question, and the muffin recipes I found had too much oil in them and therefore quite unhealthy. What to do?
It was in my trusty Jean Paré’s, Company’s Coming, Muffins & More cookbook I found the solution: Tea Biscuits! Now I modified the recipe to include the Apple Cider which I reduced by less than 1/4 of its original volume and these scones did not disappoint; they were soft, buttery and had a very distinct apple cider flavour. This would be a lovely scone to serve during Autumn while you watch the leaves gently fall from the trees with a warm fire burning in the hearth a cup of tea and a couple of scones. Soon enough!
Apple Cider Tea Biscuits
Makes about 10 good size tea biscuits
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 cup unsalted cold butter, cut into small bits
- 1/4 cup sultana raisins
- 4 cups apple cider
- 2-3 tbsp milk or yogurt for brushing the tops.
- Reduce the apple cider to about 1 cup of concentrated liquid by slowly boiling it off (takes about 40-50 minutes).
- Pre-heat the oven to 450°F (232°C).
- In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, cream of tartar and spices until well mixed.
- Slowly drop in the cold butter while pulsing and blend until is it a coarse mix.
- Transfer this mix into another bowl, add the raisins and mix well to coat the raisins with the floury mixture.
- Add the cider all at once to the flour, and mix well with a wooden spoon mix until it is a soft ball of dough. (Note this is a slightly softer ball of dough than a tea biscuit usually is).
- Transfer to a floured board and knead a couple of times (not enough to melt the butter with the heat of your hands).
- Roll out the dough to about 2 cm (~3/4″) thick and cut with a triangular cookie cutter. Repeat until the dough is completely used.
- Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and brush tops with the yogurt or milk (for a beautiful shine) and bake 10-12 minutes until golden. You’ll need to watch the bottoms because the natural colour of these biscuits are more golden and you will only be able to tell how far along they are by looking at the bottoms.
- Cool slightly on a wire rack and serve with unsalted butter and preserves.