Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
To a mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, sugar, and salt. Stir together. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles crumbs. Stir in the apples and all but 3 tablespoons of the cheese.
Add the buttermilk and stir gently to moisten until it just comes together (more buttermilk can be added by the tablespoon, if needed).
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat or roll the dough into 1/2 inch thickness. Cut biscuits using a biscuit cutter. Place the biscuits onto the prepared baking sheet. Top each biscuit with some of the remaining cheddar cheese. Bake 12-15 minutes.
Best served hot from the oven.