I've discovered lately that if I spent nearly as much time blogging as I did perusing Pinterest, I'd have much less anxiety about keeping up LoVBites. But the benefit of spending hours each week browsing Pinterest is that I have an endless supply of recipes to try (and then find time to write about).
Undoubtedly, my best-built pin board is "Sweets to Make." This is despite the fact that we're still in a minimum 90-day sweets freeze at our house. But when I have guests coming over, that's as good an opportunity as any to break the ban. It gives me the freedom to bake something delicious, knowing I can have a taste and send the rest home with friends!
I stumbled across this amazing-sounding recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod last weekend, and since I happened to have all of the ingredients on hand I thought scones would be a nice treat to send home with Tiff and Steph. The strawberry-ricotta combination sounded delightful, and when the blogger described using them as the base for strawberry shortcakes, I was sold!
There are a few things about this recipe that I discovered needed some tweaking, which is why I'm classifying them as "berry good" instead of "berry amazing." First, there was a note in the recipe that the ricotta makes the dough super sticky, requiring you to mix in some extra flour while shaping the scones. That seemed simple enough, but it turned out the dough was downright unworkable and I had to mix in massive amounts of flour during shaping. I might consider upping the amount of flour from the start (by at least half a cup, if not more). Also, the cooking time was noted as 15 to 20 minutes. I always err on the side of caution and start at the lower baking time. At 15 minutes, my scones weren't even close to browned and definitely not cooked through. At 20 minutes we were getting there, but they still weren't quite set. I added time in 3 to 5 minute increments and I think I eventually pulled them out, nicely browned but possibly still a bit soft in the middle, at 40 minutes. The ricotta may have been the culprit here, too.
Nonetheless, I ended up with perfectly good scones. They're more moist than your typical scone, but also much more flavorful than the dry bricks you often find! My quest for the perfect scones recipe will continue, but with a few adjustments I think this one could come close!
Strawberry Ricotta Scones
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 cups flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
Milk, for brushing
Sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 400. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Whisk together egg, buttermilk, lemon juice, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add ricotta and whisk until combined. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest. Rub together with your fingers until fragrant. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon sugar mixture. Add butter pieces to the flour mixture and toss just until the butter is coated with flour. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until you have pea-sized clumps of butter and flour.
Pour liquid ingredients over dry ingredients and stir with spatula until just combined. Don’t over mix the dough. Gently fold in strawberries. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and gently knead the dough. If dough is too sticky, add more flour as you knead. Pat dough down into a disk, about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 8 wedges.
Transfer scones to prepared baking sheet and brush with milk. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake 15 to 20 minutes (or 40!), or until scones are golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack and serve.