I am so thrilled to introduce you today to a new contributor: Scott Morris. Scott is the spouse of one of my younger sister’s dearest friends, and I am tickled pink that he has agreed to join my team! Scott has a background in photography, is a major foodie, and is working on a PhD in Creative Nonfiction, and much more. Basically, I jumped for joy when he applied for the contributor position, and I pinching myself again right now. JACKPOT. 🙂 Scott will be bringing us his amazing culinary creations twice a month, so get excited. I know I am!
Now let me pass you on to Scott for his recipe for the world’s best buttermilk biscuits, served two ways!
In summer I want new flavors. I want foods that are light and breezy, something you can eat on the porch between dips in the pool.
But now that it’s fall, and the weather is cold, and the mornings are slower in coming, I crave comfort foods with familiar flavors, with their warm, aromatic scent. And in our house, there’s nothing better than these biscuits. We’re as likely to make them for slow mornings as we are to make them for dinner. My wife loves them so much I have to make them at least every other week, and we frequently make these as a special meal for guests. And I have been told even by my Southern foodie friends that these are the best biscuits in the world. Not that I lack to brag…
And, the great thing about biscuits is that they are the perfect vehicle for nearly anything…so when we lay them out on our table, we also make a spread of toppings: sausage gravy, of course, but also jams or lemon curd. And recently our favorite has been topping the biscuits with my wife’s family’s simple ambrosia salad—a style that is less sweet than the typical picnic ambrosia, and way easier: just two ingredients! Add whipped cream to it all the dish is so decadent I have literally served it as a dessert. It’s that good.
The key to flaky, buttery, moist biscuits is to not handle them too much. So in this recipe, you’ll stir them less and there is no rolling, no cookie-cutting, and you’ll bake the biscuits close together to limit the evaporating in the oven.
2 C Flour
7 T cold unsalted butter
½ tsp baking soda
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 C plus 1 T buttermilk
2 pinches extra flour
Instructions for Buttermilk Biscuits
- Preheat oven to 425 F
- Add the 2 C flour, soda, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine.
- Using a pastry blender, mix the cold butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is uniformly pale yellow and crumbly. ( Note: There are lots of hacks for those without a pastry blender: forks, two knives, etc, but honestly, for this part of the recipe, you don’t need finesse. If you don’t have a blender, just crumble the flour into the butter with your hands. It’s messy, but faster than the knife method.)
- Add the buttermilk and stir slowly until everything is just barely incorporated. IMPORTANT: Don’t over stir! As soon as all the flour is wet, you’re good!
- Sprinkle a pinch of flour on the dough, just enough so it won’t stick to your hands as you pick up the dough.
- Transfer the ball of dough to a greased cookie sheet, floured side down and then sprinkle the top with just a bit more flour
- With your hands, very gently form the dough into a rectangle about ½ inch high, slightly less in the very middle.
- Using a flat pastry cutter, cut the rectangle into 9 to 12 biscuits. (Note: If you’re doing just one batch, leave the biscuits all touching each other, no need to separate. However, if you’re doubling the recipe, make a slightly larger gap in the middle of the dough, otherwise you’ll get underdone biscuits in the center while all the outsides are getting crispy.)
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the tops of all biscuits are golden brown.
Serve as hot as you can handle if you’re putting gravy or butter on top. Let cool for a few minutes if you’re adding ambrosia and cream.
Country Sausage Gravy Recipe
1 lbs ground breakfast sausage
1/3 C flour
3 to 4 cups milk
ground sage to taste
cayenne pepper to taste
salt and pepper to taste
- Brown the sausage and break into small pieces in the pan. Don’t drain the grease!
- While the pan is still hot, sprinkle the flour evenly over the surface of the sausage and stir in. The flour will look like it mostly disappears into the sausage.
- Add ground sage and cayenne to taste. (Note: Most breakfast sausages already have these spices in them, but I like to amp up the flavor for gravy, so I add about half a teaspoon of ground sage and as much red pepper as I think my guests can handle. I like spicy gravy. If you don’t like spice, skip the cayenne.)
- Once the flour is incorporated, immediately add the milk. If you like thick gravy, only 3 cups, if you like it on the thinner side, 4 cups. Or whatever your preference is in between.
- Once the milk is added, stir continually until the mixture thickens and boils slightly.
- Add salt and black pepper to taste.
Super Simple Ambrosia Salad
4 ripe but still firm plums, apricots, or nectarines (or mixture)
¾ to 1 C shredded, sweetened coconut
Whipped cream to top
My wife’s family uses oranges for this recipe, which works great as a side dish by itself. But as a biscuit topping, I like the more complex flavors of the prunus species: plums, apricots, nectarines, or—as pictured here—pluots, a cross breed of plums and apricots. I’ve also mixed the fruits, which is even more fun.
- Cut the fruit into small pieces
- Add in the dried coconut
Eat by itself or topped with whipped cream on a biscuit.