Tag Archives: buttermilk

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

Sunday was day nine of the opened buttermilk, so after ranch dressing and scones, I thought buttermilk biscuits would finish off the quart nicely.

When we were in grad school in Arkansas, my husband fell in love with a kind of disgusting looking fast food called a Volcano. It consisted of broken up biscuits topped with sausage gravy in a giant Styrofoam cup. Although I never had one, I knew I could do better, and since the Volcano continued to live on in his fantasy cuisine, I figured out how to do it, just not in a Styrofoam cup.

Biscuits and gravy is a simple, but satisfying dish, made better here with homemade buttermilk-lard biscuits. The biscuits came out so well, I couldn’t stop taking pictures, obviously.

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Blueberry Streusel Scones

Two ingredients that carry over from recent recipes prompted today’s recipe. I had about a cup of coconut-walnut streusel from the cocoa muffins and buttermilk from this weekend’s ranch dressing. The streusel was in the freezer and would have kept longer, but I needed a few buttermilk recipes, and scones are a favorite. Usually I make an orange glazed scone, but we like blueberries and it seemed like a good idea with the flavors of the streusel. Instead of fresh blueberries, I’ll be using dried sweetened ones, but you could use fresh berries for a different taste and texture.

I think you’ll see a buttermilk biscuit here soon, too 😉

 

 

Blueberry Streusel Scones

  • Servings: 8-16 scones
  • Difficulty: easy
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Preheat oven 400°; line baking sheet with parchment paper

Prepare streusel. See recipe here: https://kitchenportfolio.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/coconut-streusel-cocoa-muffins/

Combine dry ingredients:

  • 3 cups White Lily® bleached, all-purpose flour (you won’t regret using this soft-wheat flour for baking delicate items like scones)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Cut in 3/4 cup cold butter cut in small cubes. I tried a pastry cutter once and hated it, having grown up using my mother’s old 3-tined fork—not a traditional pastry fork, but some old black thing with thin tines. So, I often use a table fork to cut in shortening, but today I just used my hands, rubbing the butter and flour mixture between my fingers until it was pretty well combined. Don’t worry too much about uniformity here; larger chunks of butter are okay.

Stir in 1-2 teaspoons lemon or orange zest. Lemon is good with blueberries; orange is good with cranberries.

Stir in 1 cup dried blueberries (or fresh blueberries or dried cranberries). Stirring them in now coats each berry with flour, keeping them separate throughout the rest of the mixing. Trying to stir them in after the wet ingredients are added will be too hard and will burst too many berries.

Stir in 1 cup buttermilk until most of the flour is combined, then lightly knead in the rest by hand. Like all quick bread doughs, you don’t want to overwork it, so don’t worry if your unbaked scones are a little rough-looking. You can see the cracks in my unbaked scones. Better an imperfect scone with a tender crumb.

On a floured surface, pat the dough into a circle—two 6 inch circles for very small scones or one larger 8-10 inch circle for fewer, bigger scones. Just don’t pat the dough any less than 3/4″ thick. Cut the circle(s) into eighths with a pastry scraper/chopper (mine has a cutting edge). The goal when cutting scone or biscuit dough is to cut straight down without squashing the dough, leaving a cut edge that will allow the dough to rise high.

Place scones on parchment-lined baking sheet and brush tops with milk or cream for browning and for adhering streusel, if using. Sprinkle streusel to cover tops of scones. You will make a mess of your baking sheet, which is another good reason to use parchment paper. Parchment paper used to be such a specialty item that you had to grab it whenever you found it, often in a boutique baking shop. Now you can get it in any grocery store and you should definitely always have some on hand. You will think of ways to use it and save on a lot of cleanup.

teaBake at 400° for 15-20 minutes. Cool on wire rack. These don’t really need to be split and buttered, but you could, or you could go all afternoon tea and have clotted cream.

What to Bring to the Summer Get Together

Side dish or dessert? Side dish or dessert? You’d think with only two choices, making one would be easy, but whenever I hear that option, my head starts swimming with all the possible dishes I could make. First, I lean toward dessert, because within the narrow confines of my family I am known for some pretty good ones, whether elaborate or simple. But then I start panicking about all the possible things that can go wrong, most of them having to do with accidental burning or insufficient rising, overworked crusts or underbaked centers, or missed ingredients—in a dessert, the littlest thing turns into a disaster.

The dessert disaster scenario takes only seconds and I start thinking about side dishes. Now, that’s a gigantic category encompassing appetizers, salads, vegetables, each one of those its own abyss. I’ll have to admit that what first popped into my head was a corn-black bean-mango salsa, but did I want to bring chips or turn it into a pasta salad? Not really. I quickly fell back on the old standby macaroni salad because it’s easy to make and hard to ruin, but with visions of seeing 12 different bowls of the stuff, I had to figure out how to make mine stand out or at least compete well with the others so as not to be faced with taking home the only untouched dish.

Bacon, obviously

A quick trip around the web showed me the right dressing to go with the bacon, so I’m taking Bacon Ranch Macaroni Salad with homemade ranch dressing.

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