Tuesday, January 6, 2009

oh wow

It is cold here in STL, plus we had some nice freezing rain. I wished the car had ice skate tires this morning as we slid around town on our way to school. Fortunately we made it to our destination and back home safe and sound. Jimmy is celebrating this (and the fact that Gracie is back in school) by watching Cars. I find that I keep thinking about the incredibly delicious, fantastically decadent strawberry shortcakes Nate and I had last night. Perhaps it was because we decided to try and eat a bit more healthy this year, I don't know, but I found I purchased strawberries yesterday. Strawberries in January? Yep. These were a beautiful dark red and very sweet. We tried a new shortcake recipe and let me just say when you make it you will find yourself dreaming about it the next day too. The dough is super sticky and moist, so don't be afraid to flour your board and your hands. A lot.

Buttermilk Biscuits
adapted from Gourmet June 2005

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Rounded 1/4 tsp salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 tbsp milk for brushing

Ensure rack is in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 425.

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a medium sized bowl. Whisk to together to blend well. Using your finger tips, blend in the butter until mixture resembles course corn meal. Add buttermilk and stir with a fork until a dough just forms (dough will be very, very moist).

Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead gently 6 times. Pat dough out onto a floured surface into an 8x5(ish) rectangle. If you want to be fancy trim the edges, but really this is quite unnecessary. Cut the rectangle in half lengthwise and then into thirds crosswise. Transfer cut dough biscuits to a parchment-lined cookie sheet, arranging them about 2 inches apart. Brush tops of biscuits with milk. Bake until pale golden, 12-15 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool.

For the berries: slice up a bunch of strawberries and sprinkle with some sugar. Squeeze in a bit of lemon juice and let it all hang out together while the biscuits are baking. Whip up heavy cream with a bit of powder sugar. To serve, slice the biscuits in half, lengthwise. Generously ladle strawberries and cream on top of each half. Try not to eat all the biscuits in one sitting.

These would be great for many things: biscuits and gravy, biscuits and anything, shortcake, whatever you can dream up!

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