Ricotta Biscuits with Dried Cherries, Apricots & Raspberries
(Makes 8 to 16 biscuits, depending on how super-sized you want them)
1/2 cup dried tart cherries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup unsulfured dried apricots, diced
4 cups pastry flour (purchased, or make your own from the recipe that follows)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup buttermilk, plus extra for brushing on scones
1 cup fresh raspberries
Coarse raw sugar
Preheat oven to 385 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place cherries and apricots in a medium bowl and cover with hot water. Let soak for 10 minutes, then drain well and set aside.
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, granulated sugar, and salt into a medium bowl. Toss with your hands to combine.
Cut butter into 1/4-inch pieces and drop into bowl of dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut in butter until it’s evenly distributed and the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Add drained cherries and apricots, and mix with a wooden spoon.
In a separate medium bowl, combine ricotta and buttermilk, and mix well with a wooden spoon. Fold one third of ricotta mixture into bowl of dry ingredients, t en fold in another third. Add final third of ricotta mixture along with fresh raspberries and continue mixing just until ingredients are combined and dough starts coming together.
Pul dough from bowl onto a floured work surface. (You might need to use a dough scraper to work with the dough, as I did, rather than your hands.) Lightly coat your hands with flour and form dough into a 9-by-5-inch rectangle. Fold dough in half and press it down lightly with your fingertips (or dough scraper). Repeat this process two more times, gently kneading dough but not over-working it. Sprinkle a little more flour on the work surface and again form dough into a 9-by-5-inch rectangle, about 1 inch thick. Cut dough into 8 to 16 equal squares. Lift biscuits onto prepared baking sheet. (You might need to use a spatula to do this.)
Brush biscuits with buttermilk and sprinkle a little coarse sugar on top. Bake on center rack of oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes.
(makes 4 cups)
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
Sift flours into a medium bowl and toss until thoroughly mixed. Store in a dry, airtight container.