strawberry and blueberry ricotta lemon scones

God Bless America... and God Bless scones. Especially patriotic ones.

As I approached this holiday weekend, I obviously wanted to bake. Prior years have yielded some great recipes like Raspberry Smores Pavlova (2015), Dutch Pancakes (2012), a version of Strawberry shortcake (2012) or this Triple Berry Breakfast Bread (2014). But it's really hard to resist a scone variety. They are so easy to share... and eat all day long as snacks. 

So, here I introduce you to lemon ricotta scones. But one batch with strawberry and one batch with blueberry. Because obviously, it's better to have two varieties and if you haven't thoroughly covered yourself in flour on a Friday night you just aren't living. I found the original recipe via some holiday Pinterest-ing and only made a few changes.

Like I've repeated about a million times before, scones are great because you get to make them how you like them. You don't like strawberries? Well just substitute some other type of fruit. The "base" of this scone comes from the ricotta which absolutely changes the texture and preparation. 
  • TEXTURE // Unlike other recipes, these scones have a very "dough" like feel to them both before and after they are cooked. It's like the ricotta smoothes out all the little nooks and crannies that other varieties provide. It's actually kind of similar to a cinnamon roll dough.
  • PREPARATION // As a result of the different dough texture, it also doesn't stretch the same way - or really all that much. Consequently, I altered my prep in between batches. Normally I fold the dough twice (see recipe here for details) but I recommend only doing it once. You can see the difference in the two types. Strawberry = more than once, Blueberry = just once. Granted I did cut them differently but the point is still valid.
For the next holiday weekend, you should whip up a batch of these and toss them in the freezer (a la the coconut dream scones). Then on that wonderfully relaxing morning, just pull a few from the freezer, brush them with butter and toss them in the oven. Fresh scones for the win.
So here's how it goes.

(Step 1) Preheat oven to 400F. Unwrap a stick of frozen butter and grate it like cheese ... obviously. Once you are done, set it aside in your freezer. Cold butter is the scone secret - so really put it back in the freezer.

(Step 2) Mix together the wet ingredients. This includes: ricotta, egg, milk, vanilla extract, and lemon juice.

(Step 3) Whisk together the remaining dry ingredients. Add in the frozen grated butter. Give it some gentle mixing so that all the butter is equally distributed. Then add in the wet mixture. Give it a gentle mix together. I felt like I needed a little more milk to get the dough to the right consistency. Essentially, you want it to just come together so you can shape it.

(Step 4) Dump the dough onto a generously floured surface. Shape it until you get a bit of a dough ball. 

(Step 5) Once you have your dough baby, roll it out into a larger rectangle (like 12 inches or so on one side). I'm never precise.

(Step 6) Sprinkle your filling (strawberries or blueberries or BOTH) and zest a lemon over the dough. Gently press the fruit filling into the dough with your palms. The only purpose of this is to make it easier for you to fold the dough. Try to fold the dough like a business letter into like thirds. if this seems impossible, just roll it. No big deal. Once you have the roll, then using the palms of your hands kind of gently flatten it down a bit. Using a sharp knife cut the dough into squares... then triangles. Lay those baby triangles on a parchment covered cookie sheet. 

optional - Ideally, toss the scones in the freezer on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes or so. Really cold butter is the scone secret. If this is too much work, don't worry about it. Also, this is when you could just freeze the scones for the next morning!

(Step 7) Brush the tops of each scone with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Since the dough is still very cold from the freezer, the butter will actually harden on top of the scones. Don't freak out.

(Step 8) Bake for 20ish minutes at 425F. While I would normally eat them right from the oven, you kind of want to let them rest for 5 minutes. 
Shopping List (based on this recipe)
1 large egg

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup ricotta cheese 
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 cups all-purpose flour2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries or 1 cup of blueberries
Melted butter, for brushing the scones
Sugar, for sprinkling on scones

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