Roasted Cherry Ricotta Scones with mini white chocolate chips. Making the best of the seasonal summer fruit, bringing to the table a breakfast delight. Light, crumbly, and sweet, they are just the right accompaniment to tea or coffee.
Song of the day: Sweet Cherry – UB40
One of the things my parents taught me about food is to eat seasonal fruits and veggies. It is a little harder to do at this latitude than it is in Italy, but we try to follow as much as we can.
You would never see summer vegetables in my parents’ fridge during winter. Peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, just to mention a few, make their appearance only when they are at their peak, and my parents can buy them at their local farmer’s markets or get them fresh from their garden. Fruit consumption is regulated by season as well. They expect spring and summer to get their hands on strawberries, cherries, apricots, peaches, watermelon, and cantaloupe. When living with them, I never had a strawberry, which is my favorite fruit, during winter, and that made it even more exciting to wait for them to appear. I would eat that strawberry with a blissful smile on my face, welcoming it like I would welcome a found friend.
How Roasted Cherry Ricotta Scones came to be…..
Cherries are, instead, my mother’s absolute favorite, and in the summer she tries to eat as many as she can before my father uses them to make jam (making jam is for my dad what eating cherries is for my mom 😉 ). Quite a pair, they are.
Here in Alberta, we don’t have cherries, they tell me, other than deliciously tart and crimsonly red sour (Evan) cherries. So, when summer comes, we buy them at our local farmer’s market from the vendors that bring them from a neighboring Region, British Columbia. Sweet, plump, and organic, you can find them in our fridge from when they start to appear until there are no more. We mostly snack on them or add them to smoothies in combination with other summer fruits, but today I decided they are going to be featured in what is possibly my most favorite breakfast item: scones. Moreover, to intensify their flavor and also lose a bit of the moisture (that scones don’t like), I am going to roast them.
I had never roasted cherries before, pears yes, to make more delectable scones, but not cherries. Roasted Cherry Ricotta Scones are the answer to my dreams when I dream about my breakfast at night. And I do so. I cannot say it enough, the thought of what to have for breakfast is with me before I fall asleep and the first thing on my mind when I wake up. These Roasted Cherry Ricotta Scones are also special and particularly delicious because we used our homemade ricotta cheese. The recipe and instructions are coming real soon (here). It is a gift from Loreto’s Godmother, teaching us to make ricotta since we love it and use it so much.
The recipe for these Roasted Cherry Ricotta Scones is our trusted recipe, the one we use for almost every scone we want to make. Pretty easy to follow, just remember there are “rules” when making scones:
- mix the dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder, sugar and a pinch of salt
- use cold butter, cubed, and work it fast into the flour with a pastry blender (or your fingertips) until it resembles a fine crumb
- add the wet ingredients when the butter is already incorporated: berries (and chocolate, in my case) before the cream/egg mixture, so as to coat them in flour and prevent them to lose too many juices
- lightly beat the egg and the cream before adding to the dry ingredients, so you don’t have to mix too much
- use your hands as little as possible, which leads to:
- do not overwork the dough
The Roasted Cherry Ricotta Scones are out of the oven and the smell is incredible, kind of when you make jam. Who needs artificial diffusers and incense sticks if you can bake, smell good, and eat it too?
The roasted cherries are plump little morsels and if you are lucky enough to have in the same bite some of the mini white chocolate chips, you are sure transported to Heaven. The texture of these scones is as it should be: light and flaky, with caramelized, sweet, crispy edges and top. I don’t know about you, but when I’m eating scones, there is nowhere else I’d rather be.
Song of the day: Sweet Cherry – UB40Print
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or flour 00)
- 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 6 tablespoons (85 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1/4 cup mini white chocolate chips
- 1 cup cherries, washed, pitted and halved
- 1/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
- 1/2 cup (76 g) organic ricotta
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- whipping cream for brushing
- cane sugar for sprinkling
- Pre-heat oven to 375° F.
- Line a medium-size baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange cherries on parchment and roast for 20 minutes. Cool to lukewarm. Leave oven on. Line baking sheet with another piece of parchment (or baking mat).
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
- Toss in cubed butter, and work it with a pastry blender.
- Add the cherries and the white chocolate chips and blend gently with a metal spoon till the cherries are nicely coated with flour.
- Whisk the ricotta and cream together in a small bowl, add the beaten egg, then add the wet mixture to the flour mixture.
- Gently mix the dough with your hands until it just comes together. Don’t overmix.
- On a very well floured counter, pat out dough.
- Cut into 6 wedges and transfer to the prepared baking sheet, closer together, but not touching (I keep them 2 inches apart).
- Brush with whipping cream and sprinkle with cane sugar.
- Bake scones until firm and golden, about 25-30 minutes.
- Transfer to a cooling rack.