Scones are the clever child of muffins and biscuits. They have the slightly crumbly texture of biscuits, but like muffins, they tend to have a multitude of flavors and add-in ingredients to give them extra flair. I'm particularly fond of using them as the foundation of my favorite sandwiches because they bring a lot of flavor and interest to the table. Beyond that, they are simple to make!
One of the things I like a lot about scones is how the batter begins as a bit of a crumbly mess. I always use my fingers to mix it — if I'm trying to keep my fingers clean, I just pop it into a resealable plastic bag and use my fingers to work it into crumbs from the outside. Since colder butter tends to work into the mix better than warm stuff, I actually tend to grate frozen butter for my scone recipes. That way, some of it softens and works into the mix and some melts and adds textural interest to the finished scone.
These pretty scones are marbled and spotted with bright green onions and chopped spinach. The ricotta cheese and heavy cream give them a bit more moisture and sturdiness than your average scone, which makes them perfect for little sandwiches. My favorite version involves making BLTs with thick cut applewood smoked bacon and plenty of creamy mayonnaise. Add a simple bowl of fresh berries and you have a pretty meal that's great for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or even teatime!
Unless I'm planning to serve all of the scones for one meal, I generally freeze several and will pop as many as I'd like out and thaw them on the kitchen counter for a few hours before I want to use them. You could microwave them, but unlike muffins, I find scones lose some of their moisture when microwaved. Given that they can be a bit crumbly to begin with, I favor letting time and a warm kitchen get them ready for us. Enjoy!
- 2 c. flour
- 1 T. baking powder
- 1 T. granulated sugar
- 5 T. chilled butter, grated
- ½ c. green onions, chopped
- ½ c. baby spinach, chopped
- 1 c. ricotta cheese
- ⅔ c. heavy cream
- Egg wash (1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water)
- 1 tsp. coarse salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
Preheat the oven to 425° F.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and sugar in a large bowl. Using your fingers, work the grated butter into the flour mixture until it is the consistency of coarse crumbs.
Stir in the green onions and spinach. Add the ricotta cheese and heavy cream; stir until just combined.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it a couple of times. Shape the dough into a 9-inch circle; slice it into 8 wedges.
Transfer the scone wedges to a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving a few inches between the wedges. Brush the tops of the scones liberally with the egg wash.
In a small bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. Sprinkle the tops of the scones with the salt mixture. Bake them for 30-35 minutes or until the scones are golden brown.
- Yields: 8 servings
- Preparation Time: 45 minutes