Lemon Ricotta Biscuits
Treat yourself to these delicious gluten-free lemon biscuits.
Published by Page Street Publishing Co.
These craggy biscuits are rich with butter, whole-milk ricotta and a touch of cream, and they get sweetness from sugar and a scraping of lemon zest. When warm from the oven, their delicate crumb positively melts in your mouth; cooled, they have a slightly chewy texture from the ricotta. Oat and millet flours combined with cornstarch for crispness and tapioca for extensibility give them a wheaten texture and delicate taste.
They tend to spread a bit more than conventional biscuits, but it’s the extra moisture that causes them to bake up light and crisp. These hold their shape best when chilled prior to baking, but you can bake them right away when you need biscuits in a hurry; they’ll just sit a bit flatter.
Spread them with some softened butter and Rhubarb Preserves (page 232) for breakfast, or top them with ricotta cream, strawberries and tarragon for a sensational shortcake (page 143). Leftovers can be baked into a berry-filled bread pudding drizzled with honey (page 168).
- 1/2 cup (55 g) GF oat flour, plus extra for dusting the surface
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp (50 g) millet flour
- 2 tablespoons (13 g) tapioca flour
- 2 tablespoons (15 g) cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons (25 g) organic granulated cane sugar
- 1 ½ tsp (8 g) baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Finely grated zest from ½ large lemon
- 3 tablespoons (42 g) cold, unsalted butter, diced
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) cold heavy cream, plus 2 tsp (10 ml) for brushing the biscuits
- 1/2 cup (120 g) whole-milk ricotta cheese
- Coarse sugar such as turbinado or demerara, for sprinkling
In a large bowl, whisk together the oat, millet and tapioca flours with the cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Add the butter pieces, and work with a pastry blender or your fingertips until the butter is broken down into the size of small peas. Chill the mixture until cold, 20–30 minutes.
Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425ºF (220ºC). Stack a rimmed baking sheet atop a second rimmed baking sheet and line with parchment paper (this will keep the bottoms from over-browning).
Remove the flour mixture from the refrigerator, add the ricotta and 3 tablespoons (45 ml) cream, and stir and/or knead with your hands until the dough comes together in a rough ball. The dough should feel fairly firm, but evenly moistened.
Working quickly to keep the dough cold, turn the dough out onto a surface dusted lightly with oat flour and form it into a disk. Cut the disk into 6 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, place on the sheet pan spaced well apart, and flatten slightly. Brush the tops of each biscuit with the remaining 2 teaspoons (10 ml) cream and sprinkle with a bit of coarse sugar. (Optionally for taller biscuits: chill the biscuits until firm, 30–60 minutes.)
Bake the biscuits on the upper rack of the oven until golden on top, 15–20 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 minutes; they are still cooking from residual heat. The biscuits are best the day of baking, but they will keep at room temperature for a day or two. Toast before serving.
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Reprinted with permission from Alternative Baker: Reinventing Dessert with Gluten-Free Grains and Flours by Alanna Taylor-Tobin, Page Street Publishing Co. 2016.