THE THICKENED AND EMBRACIVE RICOTTA-MASCARPONE MOISTENS THE CRUMBS LIKE A SCONE CARRYING ITS OWN CLOTTED-CREAM
Sometimes, we wait for the perfect recipe-publishing moment to present itself. Iced dairies to fend off the heat in August… festivities to baste in the spirit of October… chocolates to sweeten the tones of February, and austerities to bring in those bikini-lines in May. Recipes, like romance, like good stories. I get it. But sometimes, most times actually, the birth of a certain recipe comes as forcefully and inevitably as the bad news it carries. Sometimes, we just have to make something, quite simply, because it’s Monday.
I hate Mondays. And please note, that coming from someone who is technically unemployed, that is saying a lot. Because Monday feels like standing at the bottom of an endless stairwell, and a monkey is holding a $20-bill at the top. Monday feels like watching the prelude of a documentary on counting alphabets in a foreign language without subtitles. Monday feels like powering through the infuriating hunger on the last day of a juice-cleanse, but only that it is still the first day. Monday feels like a brand new sandbag. Monday makes my coffee tired. So even though I’ve came up with this buttery scone stuffed with honey-whipped ricotta a while back, and have been waiting for the perfect timing to tell you all about it, it dawned on me that today, which is a Monday, is actually when your joy-deprived souls will need it the most.
This time-tested, my go-to scone-dough (or biscuit dough, whatever, who knows the difference really) is crispy and flakey on the surface, but its moist and crumbly interior houses a good dollop of creamy, slightly salty, zesty whole milk ricotta whipped with mascarpone and floral honey. Eaten hot out of the oven, the oozy filling bursts enthusiastically to lift your most stagnant Monday-blues. Eaten cooled with rewarded patience, and the thickened and embracive ricotta-mascarpone will moisten the crumbs like a scone carrying its own clotted cream. I don’t know about you, but my Monday is nearing its end, and I haven’t yet raised the first thought to smash my computer on the pale wall. And I say no human should go another Monday without it.
UPDATE 2015/09/24: Please note that the ricotta I used was very very firm. So if your ricotta feels a bit on the loose side, wrap it in cheesecloth and put something heavy over it, then leave it in the fridge overnight to get rid of excess water.
- 3/4 cup (165 grams) whole milk ricotta
- 1/4 cup (56 grams) mascarpone
- 1/4 cup (85 grams) good quality floral honey
- 1/4 tsp lemon or orange zest
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 3 cups (395 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tbsp aluminium-free baking powder
- 1/4 + 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 9 tbsp (126 grams) unsalted butter, cold
- 1 cup + 1 tbsp (260 grams) whole milk, cold
- 1 egg wash
- Raw sugar to sprinkle
- In a food-processor, blend ricotta, mascarpone, honey, lemon zest and salt until smooth, then set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Cut the cold, unsalted butter into large cubes and add to the flour-mixture, then with a pastry-cutter or your hands, cut/squeeze the butter into the flours until they become shaggy and pea-sized bits. Some bits will be bigger or smaller, rounder or flatter than the others. It's totally fine. Now add the whole milk, and stir the whole thing into a dough with a large fork. Do not over-work it. Once the dough starts to come together, gather loose bits and flours with your hands so they all stick together, then transfer to a lightly floured surface.
- Dust with flour as needed as you go, and roll the dough out into 1/3" (1 cm) thick rectangle, then cut into 6 equal squares. Place about 1 1/2 tbsp of the ricotta-filling in the centre. Dab the edges lightly with a bit of water, then fold the dough over into a triangle and gently pinch the edges together. You can pinch away excess doughs and shape the triangle as neatly as you can, then set aside on a lightly floured pan. Repeat with the rest. Freeze the scones in the freezer for at least 30 min to 1 hour before baking. You can also make the day before and keep them frozen until the next morning.
- 30 min before baking, preheat the oven on 445 F/230 C. Brush the surface of the scones with egg-wash, then sprinkle generously with raw sugars. Bake in the oven for about 15 min until golden browned and puffed. I prefer to eat them once cooled, when the filling becomes thick and creamy.