or, “Wicked” Good Biscuits
This past Sunday, we had tickets to my favorite Broadway Show, Wicked! If you haven’t seen it, I beg you, please go! It is fabulous! I’m a bit embarrassed to say, I have seen it FOUR times. But in all fairness, it is well worth seeing again. There are some new costumes, slightly different sets, and some new, very clever lines, so even if you’ve seen it, see it again! You won’t regret it.
So because of that, brunch was the meal of the day! (We saw the matinee.) for the past several days, I’ve kind of cooked for my eldest child, who was home for the weekend to go to the show with us. Now, she likes a savory breakfast, while most of us are as happy with a doughnut as we are with eggs and bacon. My girl does not even like doughnuts! Can you believe it?
So my goal with this breakfast was something that was easy to fix, even easier to clean up, and would please my baby girl, (who is 21 now). After all, we had places to go and a Broadway show to see!
I decided to make Cream Biscuits. These are biscuits you make with cream instead of butter. So there is no “cutting in” the cold butter. This is not something I mind doing, when necessary, but you have to admit, it does take some time and can make a mess. And the cream makes them so unbelievably tender they just melt in your mouth. So why not?
Now, you can use all cream (3 cups) in the recipe, or you can lighten it up a bit like I did by substituting buttermilk for some of the cream. I substituted 1 c buttermilk for 1 c of the cream, you could also substitute plain yogurt if you want. You do lose a bit of the tenderness, but these biscuits are so tender, you will hardly notice.
I thought I would make it a meal by adding some Black Forest Ham, and one of our favorite local cheeses, Beecher’s Flagship. This incredible cheese is a semi-hard, super nutty, cheddar-style, slightly crumbly cheese that shreds easily and goes well with anything or by itself. You could successfully substitute 4 oz Gruyere or sharp Cheddar.
These biscuits are so light, tender, savory and since they are studded with ham and cheese, a bit salty. This made me want to slather them not with butter, but with apricot preserves. So incredibly delicious! And fortunately, you can make a lot of biscuits with this recipe, so when the leftovers call you, you know what to do. That’s right, grab the apricot jam. Enjoy!
Cream Biscuits with Black Forest Ham and Cheese
4 c pastry flour (or 3 c AP flour + 1 c cake flour)
4 t baking powder
1 1/2 t salt
2 c grated cheese (about 4 oz)
1 1/4 c diced Black Forest Ham (3 oz)
2 c heavy cream
1 c buttermilk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt into a medium or large bowl. Stir in cheese and ham. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the cream and buttermilk into the well. Mix until dry ingredients are mixed in.
Flour your countertop or a board well. Pour dough out onto the floured surface. The dough will be very sticky. Pat into a large rectangle, fold one half over the other, then pat into large rectangle again. Repeat the folding process. Do this a total of 3 or 4 times. Be sure to re-flour your surface when needed.
Pat the dough into a long rectangle, about 12×6, and 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick. It will still be very sticky. Using a bench scraper, or, alternatively, a sharp knife and a spatula, cut the dough into 10 “squares”. Place the biscuits on greased or parchment-covered baking sheet. Bake 23-25 minutes until tops are light golden brown.
Cool slightly. Enjoy with butter or apricot preserves.