Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Blueberry Breakfast Biscuits

Sorry about that title, I just love alliterations. Couldn’t help myself. Anyway, I have been experimenting with a Blueberry Cream Biscuit recipe that I saw in Better Homes and Gardens. It is a new family favorite, not only for breakfast but topped with some additional berries and whipped cream for dessert, or Mr B’s personal favorite, reheated in a bowl and topped with some half-and-half.

These biscuits are quick to make, don’t require any fancy ingredients, and can be served with lemon curd, blueberry jam, or all on their own. What appealed to me was the basic biscuit dough. I have yet to find a good basic biscuit (buttermilk or otherwise) and am constantly on the search. Unfortunately this is more a cross between a biscuit and a scone, but my disappointment was tempered by their delicious flavor.

I have tried the recipe with different spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger), amounts of sugar, both whipping cream and half-and-half, topped off with sugar or not, and different baking times. I’ve come to the consensus that my small alterations to the original recipe improve upon the taste and it got big thumbs up from everyone in the household.

I happen to like a sweeter dough, so I increased the amount of sugar. This makes them perfectly edible on their own, without the need for the original blueberry sauce the recipe called for, or even butter, jam or curd. By sprinkling white or raw sugar over the top, you also get an extra bit of sweetness and crunch.

I also tried to make the recipe with half-and-half, as I was out of cream on one occasion. But the cream is significantly thicker and richer—a bridge between the traditional milk and butter called for in recipes like these. The half-and-half required an additional ½ cup of flour, which diluted the sweetness. Even with the additional flour, the dough was a bit hard to turn, as it was still a bit sticky. The result was a somewhat tough outer biscuit, not as light and fluffy as the cream-based version.

I also found that the baking time of 17 minutes from the original recipe was just too short. It was closer to 22-25 and my oven is well calibrated. Had I turned on the convection it might have been done in 17, but be warned. Taking the biscuits out too early means raw dough in the center.

These take about 5 minutes to make, and with cooking time can be on your table, piping hot, in less than 30. So what are you waiting for?

Blueberry Breakfast Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ginger
1 cup blueberries
¼ cup diced crystallized ginger*
1½ cups whipping cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl thoroughly mix flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and ginger. Toss blueberries and crystallized ginger with the flour mixture. Stir whipping cream into the flour mixture until just moistened.
Turn out dough on a floured work surface. Gently lift and fold dough four or five times, making a quarter turn between each fold. Place dough on the cookie sheet forming it into an 8-inch square, approximately 1 inch thick. Using a floured pizza cutter or knife, cut 12 to 16 squares in dough, leaving biscuits intact. 

Bake in upper half of oven for 22-25 minutes. until golden brown. Cut through or pull apart biscuits.

*The Ginger People make baker’s cut crystallized ginger chips, which are perfect for baking recipes (as well as to put in oatmeal, granola, etc). This is what they look like, although they are significantly cheaper (by half) at Cost Plus.

No comments: