Monday, August 8, 2011

Smitten Scones

The raspberries at Green City a couple weekends ago were a sight for sore eyes! Glowing their deep ruby hue in the noontime sun, I could not help but pick up a quart of the jewel-like berries -- and then went back for a quart of blueberries for good measure. Incidentally, it was just a few days before that I stumbled upon this recipe for whole wheat raspberry ricotta scones from the amazing cooking blog Smitten Kitchen, which I idolize for its often witty writing, beautiful photography, and great food instruction. You can tell how much I admire Deb's style because this post looks scarily similar to hers, although I do give her plenty of credit, so it doesn't qualify as outright plagiarism (maybe? hopefully?).

A lone blueberry in a sea of red.
My tweaked version of the scone recipe has slightly more of a nutritional conscience and is not as decadent as Deb's (though still very tasty), but hers (like comparing me to Padma Lakshmi) is a much better looking version. Both are suited for an indulgent breakfast treat.

The Health Glut version of the recipe calls for:

120 grams stone ground wheat flour (about 1 cup)
120 grams millet flour (about 1 cup)
80 grams organic unrefined cane sugar (2/3 cup)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
85 grams unsalted butter (6 tablespoons)
100 grams (a little less than a cup) fresh raspberries
120 grams whole milk ricotta

Makes 9 scones.

Millet is a gluten free grain that contains protein. And while whole milk ricotta is about 66 percent fat, it, too, contains protein that gives it nutritional complexity. If you're weary of the fat content, try a part skim version. Try to avoid fat free however -- anything with natural fat that is labeled "fat free" is usually a red flag for harsh chemical processes to remove the lipids. And finally, as my dad would say, sugar is sugar. Whether refined or not, it should be used sparingly. My preference for unrefined cane sugar is an attempt to avoid the crystallization and decolorization processes that yield white table sugar. Unrefined cane sugar is much closer to its natural form.

One final note from Deb: The trickiest thing about these is the dampness of the dough. Yet that same trickiness is they bake into something that seems impossibly moist for a scone, and especially a whole wheat one. Keep your counter and your hands well floured and you won’t have any trouble getting them from bowl to counter to oven to belly, which, after all, is the whole point.

Yeah. She's great, isn't she?

The procedure then follows that of Smitten Kitchen:
  1. Preheat oven to 425° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together all the dry ingredients.
  3. Cut butter into small pieces and work it into the dry mixture until it has the consistency (as Deb says) of a coarse meal. Roughly chop the raspberries and gently stir these in.
  4. Add ricotta and mix to form a moist dough without completely smushing the raspberries.
  5. Gently hand knead into an even mass in bottom of bowl.
  6. Carefully transfer to a floured surface. Flour the top of the dough and form it into a 7 inch square about 1 inch tall.
  7. Divide with a knife into 9 even squares. 
  8. Transfer to your prepared baking dish with a spatula. Bake about 15 minutes, until lightly golden at the edges.
  9. Yes, I'm aware that step 7 says "divide into 9 even squares" and this is only 4. I made a small batch since this was experimental. Counting is one of the few things I do well at least 50% of the time.
  10. Cool for a few minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack. Then enjoy!


  1. i'm so obs with scones. this sounds amazing. maybe i'll try to veganize it.....