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Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6/fan oven 180C and grease a baking sheet. Tip the ricotta into a bowl and mix in the orange zest and half the sugar until combined. Sift the flour and remaining sugar into another bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes and rub into the flour mixture so it looks like fine breadcrumbs.
Stir the ricotta mixture into the flour mixture, adding a tablespoon or two of milk if necessary to get a soft (but not sticky) dough. Tip the dough on to a floured work surface and knead very lightly a few times only – just until the dough loses its craggy look. If you overknead, the scones will be tough.
Roll or press out the dough until it’s about 4cm/11⁄2in thick. Shape into a neat round, put it on the baking sheet and mark into six wedges with a knife.
Brush the top of the scone round with milk, sprinkle with a little flour, then top with the demerara sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes until well risen and brown on top. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving warm, spread with a little cream or butter, and lemon or orange curd. (These are best on the day of making, but will keep in an airtight container for 1-2 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.)