It went past 50 degrees last week and I could hardly believe it. For the first time in months I didn't have to prepare myself for the familiar sting of winter wind hitting every piece of exposed skin. And I even spotted neighbors that I haven't seen in months. The windbreaker is out, the winter coat is buried deep within the wardrobe, and despite what the weather people keep trying to tell me (back to the 40s, sometimes 30s) Spring is here to stay. Why? Because I said so.
The sun is shining so brightly and it's making me think of Summer. And, it should be noted, I don't even like Summer that much. It's just too hot. While most people around these parts relish the feeling of a hot sun on their skin, all I can do is slap on the sunscreen; even while just looking out the window. I'll take 70 degrees and breezy, please. None of that 90 degree business. Anyway, since the sun is shining and it's actually remotely warm, it had me missing the fresh fruit that I practically live on all summer: blueberries. And what goes exceptionally well with blueberries? Lemons, m'dear!
I've been trying to think of ways to spice up breakfast lately. The Cheerios just aren't cutting it anymore; not by themselves anyway. Toast is a splendid breakfast companion, but I've just been looking for a little more oomph. That's where these scones come in. Such a simple little thing on its own, the scone. So much potential, just begging to be taken to the next level. And so we shall, little scone. So we shall.
And I know that scones are traditionally wedge-shaped, but we're not going for tradition here. The beauty of a scone (besides the lovely taste) is that it can be wedge-shaped, biscuit shaped, or maybe somewhere in between like I've attempted. Mine sort of resemble drop biscuits with fruit, and you know what? That's what I'm going for. They're rustic. And also incredibly delicious.
These scones are crispy like a good southern biscuit, but still super moist thanks to both the ricotta and blueberries. And just as you start to get into the sweetness of the blueberry, you're greeted by the hint of lemony goodness. Breakfast is going to be really good this weekend.
What You'll Need:
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
zest of one lemon
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (thawed if frozen)
Heavy cream for brushing
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, lemon juice, and vanilla. Once fully combined, add the ricotta. (It's okay if there are still little lumps once you're finished combining.)
Combine the lemon zest and granulated sugar in a small bowl, rubbing the two together with your fingers until it gives off a lovely fragrant smell. Set aside.
In a large bowl, use a whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon-sugar mix. Add the cut up pieces of butter and gently toss with a fork, making sure each piece of butter is coated with the flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter or fork, incorporate the butter into the flour until you get a mixture of little lumps of butter and flour.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix together using a rubber spatula until just combined. Careful not to over-mix. Next, gently fold in the blueberries. Turn out the dough onto a very well-floured surface and gently knead the dough. Add a little flour as you knead if the dough is too sticky. Pat the dough into a 1/2 inch thick disk. Cut into a wedges, or a circles using a biscuit cutter, or for a more rustic look, gently cut a section and carefully shape it yourself. Transfer the pieces onto your prepared baking sheet.
Brush each piece with heavy cream (to help it brown nicely in the oven), and sprinkle scones with Turbinado sugar.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!
Two things to note:
1. This dough is VERY sticky because of the ricotta cheese. If you need to, add a little flour when kneading, but make sure to be gentle and not over-knead the dough.
2. Depending on your oven, it may take more than 20 minutes for your scones to turn golden. Be patient. They'll get there. But do keep a close eye on them: scones can go from lovely brown to too dark in no time flat.
SOURCE: Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod