Scones have to be one of the most divisive of teatime topics. Some people like them plain and simple, while others like to experiment with different fruits, nuts, and flours. Some believe that to apply cream to the scone first is nigh on sacrilege while others see jam first as plainly incorrect. I must say, I find it somewhat pleasing that such defined sides have formed over the final assembly of a teatime treat.
In a summer-inspired departure from a long-adored family recipe – this is a bright, simple summer scone made with fresh passionfruit, buttermilk and a splash of lemon. Served warm with agave-sweetened ricotta and vanilla roasted berries, these scones are the perfect companion to your morning tea…and might, just might tempt even the most conservative of scone fanciers.
340 g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
½ tsp lemon juice
1 tsp light muscovado sugar
40 g butter – chilled
1 tbsp sunflower oil – organic if possible
180 ml buttermilk
¼ cup fresh passionfruit pulp
1 cup fresh buffalo ricotta cheese – regular cows milk ricotta is also delicious
5 tbsp agave syrup
Vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
Mixed summer berries
Preheat oven to 200C
Prepare a baking tray by lining it with a large sheet of baking paper. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and bicarbonate soda. Add the sugar and lemon juice and mix to combine.
Chop the chilled butter into small cubes and add to the flour mixture along with the sunflower oil. Using the tips of your fingers work the butter and oil into the flour. Once the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs, pour in the buttermilk and passionfruit pulp. Being careful not to overwork the dough, bring it all together.
Lightly flour your work surface and pat the dough down until it is 4 cm or so thick, then cut out 6 cm scones with a straight-edged cutter.
Arrange the scones on your lined baking tray and brush with a little buttermilk (to give a nice and crunchy golden top) or not, completely up to you and your scone-top preference. Pop the tray into the oven and bake for 12 minutes, or until the scones are dry on the bottom and have a relatively light feel. Remove from oven and serve with agave-sweetened ricotta and roasted berries.
While the scones are baking prepare the ricotta and berries.
For the berries:
In a small baking dish, place the berries and 2 tbsp agave syrup, vanilla bean and seeds. Toss to combine. Cover the baking dish with foil and pop into the oven with the scones to roast for 10 minutes.
For the ricotta:
Combine ricotta cheese and remaining agave syrup
Makes 12 Scones