Lemon-Blueberry Ricotta Scones

March 17, 2011

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: I have always been in search of the perfect scone recipe - I think ever since Enid Blyton introduced them to me. Scones warm from the oven, with clotted cream, or jam or butter - what could be better? The answer to that is ricotta - a happy accident I discovered when I was experimenting one day. These scones come out with the most delicate and tender crumb. The lemons give it a freshness and the blueberries are like little pools of jam. Enjoy! - HeenaHeena

Food52 Review: These scones have it all: buttery texture, tender crumb, plump blueberries and sublime richness from the ricotta. In short they are immensely satisfying. The lemon shines through with just the right intensity. The dough is indeed wet and sticky as Heena promises, but giving it a couple of gentle turns on a floured board quickly yields an easy-to-handle cake, ready for cutting. I chose to make pie-shaped wedges and baked half of them immediately. I froze the others, using mrslarkin's method (see Butternut Sage Scones, http://www.food52.com/recipes...) and raised the baking temperature to 425 degrees. Both methods work well. - calendargirlcalendargirl

Makes: 8-10


  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup cold buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh ricotta
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons /1 stick butter, very cold
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/8-1/4 cups melted butter, for brushing
In This Recipe


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the egg, buttermilk, lemon juice and lemon zest in a medium bowl until they are well combined.
  3. Add the ricotta and whisk it in. It is okay if a few lumps remain.
  4. In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt.
  5. Dice the cold butter into small cubes. (You can place the butter in the freezer for 15-20 mins before in order to get it very cold.) Add the butter pieces to the flour and toss with a fork just until the butter is coated with flour.
  6. Now using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut the butter into the flour until you have a mixture of pea-sized or slightly larger clumps of butter and flour. (The pea-size bits of butter in your dough are responsible for the flakiness of your crust – when the butter melts while baking, it creates an air pocket, which is inflated by the steam created when the liquid evaporates. Result – flaky scones. End of science lesson.)
  7. Create a well in the middle of your flour mixture and add the liquid. Starting from the center, work the dry ingredients into the liquid by mixing gently with a fork until it all roughly comes together to form a wet, very sticky mixture. It is okay if there is a little flour at the bottom of your bowl. The main thing is to not overwork the dough. Gently fold in the blueberries with a rubber spatula taking care not to bruise them as far as possible.
  8. Turn out the dough onto a well floured space and gently and shortly knead the dough. To do this, pat it down gently and put all the flour bits that were at the bottom of your bowl on top of the dough. Lift one end of the flattened dough and fold it in half over itself. Press it down again, put any bits on top and fold again. Give the dough 3-4 turns like this and it should come together. Don't overwork the dough.
  9. Finally, pat the dough down into a disk, about 1/2 inch thick. Cut the dough into 8 wedges like a pie. Or cut out rounds with a cookie cutter (2.5-3 inches); don't twist the cookie cutter while cutting. (This prevents the scones from rising evenly.)
  10. Transfer the wedges or rounds to the baking sheet and brush with the melted butter. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15-20 mins until the tops are golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack. These are best when eaten warm from the oven with butter/jam/clotted cream à la the Famous Five.

More Great Recipes:
Bread|Quick Bread|Blueberry|Buttermilk|Cheese|Fruit|Grains|Lemon|Lemon Juice|Ricotta|Make Ahead|Serves a Crowd

Reviews (12) Questions (1)

12 Reviews

Vivienne February 23, 2018
Wow. I've only made scones a few times. I cook a lot, but I don't bake often. I made these today with one substitution and they (yes, I ate more than one) may be the best thing I've ever eaten. The substitution was some Trader Joe's dried Tart Montmorency Cherries. I put a couple of tablespoons of Kirschwasser and water in a pyrex cup with about a cup of the dried cherries to moisten while making the dough. Messy but awesome. Yes, I also used a lot of flour as I turned and folded several times. After brushing them with the melted butter, I sprinkled some carbonara sugar on top for crunch. Wow, again.
Robin J. August 22, 2016
These were yummy. I think maybe I should have made them a little thicker (I got 12 from the recipe,) as they spread a bit more than I expected. I did not find them too sticky to fold. I maybe added 1/4 cup of flour while kneading. They were very soft, but what I expected from a scone. I used half white whole wheat flour, and next time I will add more whole grains -- it worked well. I also used my homemade ricotta. They were nicely lemony, but being a lemon fiend, I might add even more zest next time. All in all a great recipe
Jeanette S. July 19, 2015
I agree 100% with Archana. They were way too sticky to be able to fold. I ended up adding a lot of flour while trying to kneed and transfer to the baking sheet. They're in the oven now so hopefully they turn out okay! It's my first time making scones.
Archana P. May 24, 2015
Needed much more flour that recipe said - at least 3/4 to 1 cup extra. Recipe needs to be retested and rewritten.
Stone G. April 2, 2015
Has anyone subbed lavender for the blueberries? I'm looking for a lemon-lavender scone recipe and I love the idea of using ricotta.
GSmodden April 9, 2011
Mine tasted great, but in terms of aesthetics, they flattened out just slightly than the scones in the picture. Does that mean I over-mixed? It also took mine around 35 minutes to turn golden on top. I don't have a light inside the oven to check on the scones without actually opening the oven, so may be too much oven door opening?
GSmodden April 9, 2011
Mine tasted great, but in terms of aesthetics, they flattened out just slightly than the scones in the picture. Does that mean I over-mixed? It also took mine around 35 minutes to turn golden on top. I don't have a light inside the oven to check on the scones without actually opening the oven, so may be too much oven door opening?
Author Comment
Heena April 1, 2011
Thanks CG for testing out the recipe and your notes. I'm so glad you liked them. Thanks everyone for your kind comments - I hope you enjoy these.
fiveandspice April 1, 2011
Wow, I don't know how I missed these until now because I am a total scone addict and always on the lookout for new recipes. These look phenomenal, and I am saving the recipe to make as soon as I have another spare moment for baking!
FrancesRenHuang March 31, 2011
I'm going to try this! Thanks
Midge March 24, 2011
Yum! Can't wait to try these.
gingerroot March 22, 2011
These sound amazing. Thanks for the recipe!