Prep: 15 minutes; Bake: 24 minutes.
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Place first 3 ingredients in a food processor, and pulse to combine. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal.
2. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in cheese and apple. Add buttermilk, and stir just until combined. (Do not overstir.) If dough is still crumbly, stir in more buttermilk, 1 tablespoon at a time, to bring dough together.
3. Knead dough gently several times with floured hands on a lightly floured surface. (Dough should just come together and not be sticky.) Pat dough into an 8-inch-diameter round, about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 8 triangles with a sharp knife, and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
4. Bake at 400° for 24 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly before serving.
Pear Parmesan Scones: Prepare Apple Cheddar Scones as directed, adding 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper to flour mixture and substituting 2 ounces Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup lightly packed) for Cheddar cheese, 2 peeled Bartlett pears for apple, and 3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons whipping cream for buttermilk.