Flaky Ricotta Biscuits

flaky ricotta biscuits (yossy arefi)
flaky ricotta biscuits (yossy arefi)

These biscuits are kind of a happy accident, born a couple of Sundays ago from an extreme desire for something buttery and carby to eat with breakfast and a complete lack of any sort of milk, buttermilk, or yogurt in the house. However, there was half of a tub of ricotta (that hadn't yet gone moldy) hiding in the depths of the fridge that I had forgotten about. I quickly searched around for a ricotta biscuit recipe and surprisingly came up pretty empty handed, but decided to go for it anyway. Dairy is dairy, right? The results were pretty fantastic: flaky rich, and tender with a wonderfully dramatic height thanks to the folding technique in Tara O'Brady's new cookbook: Seven Spoons (which I am going to share a recipe from soon!!) Dare I say that they are just as good as any buttermilk biscuit I've ever had? Give them a try and let me know what you think.

A little note about the eggs for those who are interested: I made them using this method that I recently learned about from a food stylist. I cook them for 7 minutes and it makes the most perfect, custardy, EASY TO PEEL, eggs ever. Bless.

Flaky Ricotta Biscuts

makes 8 small biscuits

Recipe adapted from Serious Eats, folding technique from Tara O'Brady's Seven Spoons Cookbook

4 ounces unsalted butter, cold and cut into roughly 1/2-inch cubes

1 1/2 cups (7.75 ounces) all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup (8 ounces) whole milk ricotta (use the good stuff)

1 large egg

heavy cream for brushing the tops (optional) 

Preheat oven to 425ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. In a small bowl, whisk the ricotta and egg together.

Add the butter and toss to coat with flour. Use your fingers or the palms of your hands to press each cube of butter into a flat sheet. Toss the butter in the flour as you go to ensure each butter piece is coated with flour. When finished, you want pieces of butter from the size of lima beans to quarters.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the ricotta/egg mixture. Use a fork to gently stir until most of the flour is moistened. It's okay if there are some dry spots, it's best not to over mix at this stage.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat it into a rectangle about 3/4-inch tall. Fold the dough in half, turn it 90 degrees, and again, pat it out into a rectangle. Dust the surface of the dough with flour and repeat this process 4 more times, folding, turning, and flouring the dough lightly.

Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 8, even squares. Make sure to press straight down on the knife to make clean cuts rather than using a sawing motion. The clean cuts will help the layers of dough rise and puff evenly.

Arrange the biscuits on a baking sheet, a couple of inches apart and brush the tops with heavy cream. Bake the biscuits for about 15 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Enjoy warm with more butter, honey, and a sprinkle of flaky salt if you like.

flaky ricotta biscuits (yossy arefi)

Apple Butter Doughnut Muffins

apple butter doughnut muffins
apple butter doughnut muffins

I'm gearing up for a bit of fall preserving over here, but before I start putting up apples and pears I thought I should take care of the stragglers left over in the "pantry" from last year. I had one lonely jar of apple butter left on the shelf and I wanted to make a recipe that would use the whole thing in one go, so I turned to a fall favorite muffin recipe and made a few simple swaps. The results are these gently spiced, sugar coated beauties and some open space to fill with some new jars. Not to shabby, for leftovers.

Apple Butter Doughnut Muffins

yield 12 muffins

adapted from Everyday Food

The results of this recipe rest heavily on the apple butter you choose to use in this recipe. The apple butter I make at home is lightly sweetened and spiced so the amounts of additional sugar and spice in this recipe reflect that. If your apple butter is heavily spiced you may want to hold off on adding additional spices, but do make sure there is a bit of nutmeg in there. The nutmeg is the key to the donutty flavor. I imagine they would also bake up quite nicely in a doughnut pan.

12 3/4 ounces all purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon allspice

5 ounces softened butter

3 3/4 ounces brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 ounces buttermilk

8 ounces prepared apple butter

1 small apple, peeled and diced into 1/4'' cubes

For the Topping/Coating

3.5 ounces granulated sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 ounces melted butter

1 ounce confectioner's sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350º and butter and flour a 12 cup muffin tin

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. In another small bowl whisk together the buttermilk and apple butter.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, then add the vanilla extract.

3. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the apple butter mixture. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the diced apple by hand. The mixture will be very thick.

4. Scoop 1/3 cup batter into each muffin cup and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

5. While the muffins are baking prepare the topping by mixing the cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, working with one at a time, brush the muffins with butter and toss to coat in the cinnamon sugar mixture. When completely cool, dust with confectioner's sugar (optional). These muffins taste best the day that they are made.

apple butter doughnut muffins