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! - Heena —Heena
Test Kitchen Notes
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. - calendargirl —calendargirl
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk together the egg, buttermilk, lemon juice and lemon zest in a medium bowl until they are well combined.
Add the ricotta and whisk it in. It is okay if a few lumps remain.
In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.)
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.