Since I’m slightly obsessed with scones these days, I decided to bake a sweet version of these flaky delights. Different from the rich and dense Prosciutto Blue Cheese scones I made earlier this week, the Blueberry Ricotta scones are light and fluffy. They’re sweet, but not too sweet, and the ricotta gives them a great weightless feel. The lemon zest adds a wonderful citrusy twist and the blueberries make them just a tad bit sweet(er).
For those of you who don’t like pieces of fruit in your desserts (I know you’re out there!), I made a batch of Lemon Ricotta Scones without the blueberries. The recipe is exactly the same – so all you have to do is omit the blueberries.
Ok, one small confession to make. I hadn’t really planned on making scones without the blueberries BUT, my pregnesia got the best of me again. I was happily going about my business baking my Blueberry Ricotta Scones – mixing the dry ingredients, adding the butter, pouring the buttermilk, incorporating the lemon zest, kneading the dough, rolling it out and making it look just perfect when I got this strange feeling something was missing.
As I proceeded to brush the melted butter over the dough, sprinkle it with sugar and slice away, it finally hit me. I looked up and realized the blueberries were still sitting on my counter, staring right back at me, feeling totally neglected. Oops. Enter my Lemon Ricotta Scones. They turned out quite tasty, so I decided to add them to this recipe entry as an alternative to fruit-filled scones. You can thank my pregnesia for the variation.
Read on for the recipe(s). Hope you like them!
~ 3 cups all-purpose flour
~ 1/3 cup sugar
~ 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
~ 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
~ 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon salt
~ 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
~ 1/2 cup buttermilk
~ 1/2 cup good ricotta
~ 1/3 cup plump, dried blueberries (or more to taste)
~ 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
~ 1/2 stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted, for brushing scones
~ 1/4 cup sugar for sprinkling/dusting on top
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a medium bowl, stir the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together with a fork. Add the cold butter pieces and, using your fingertips, work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles course cornmeal. It’s OK if some large pieces of butter remain – they’ll add to the flakiness!
Add the blueberries and mix with fork until just combined. Add the 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup ricotta, lemon zest and mix with fork until the ingredients are just moistened – the dough will look rough. If you feel like the dough is dry, add more buttermilk one tablespoon at a time.
Gather the dough into a ball, pressing it gently so it holds together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly – about 12 times. Cut the dough in half. Roll one piece of the dough out to a circle about 1/2″ – 3/4″ thick and about 7 inches in diameter.
Brush the dough with a healthy helping of the melted butter, dust with 2 tablespoons of the sugar and cut the dough with a pizza cutter or a sharp knife into as many triangles as you like. I like to cut the dough halfway vertically and halfway horizontally to make four large pieces. Then I cut one line diagonally on the left and another on the right. That makes about 8 triangles. If you want your scones to be larger, cut less triangles. Place the scones on an ungreased baking sheet and set aside while you roll out the rest of the dough. Repeat steps.
Bake the scones for 12 – 15 minutes until the they are golden on the top and bottom. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool slightly. They are best served warm.
If you’re not eating the scones the same day or the next, wrap them airtight and freeze. They’ll stay fresh for a month. To serve, defrost the scones at room temperature in their wrappers, then unwrap and reheat on a baking sheet for 5 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
These are at their best served warm with butter and raspberry or mixed berry jam. Fruit preserves work well too.