Cup4Cup Week: The Biscuits

gluten-free

While pie-baking has long vexed me, biscuits only began to do so when I went gluten-free. In my mind, biscuits are the true test of a gluten-free flour blend, because none I’ve tried to this point has given me an acceptable biscuit, much to my eternal Southern disappointment. No amount of cane syrup could make those starchy hockey pucks palatable, and I practically wilted from each letdown while the vapors nearly overcame me, dahlin’.

But one of Cup4Cup‘s great claims is that you can sub it for AP flour in your recipes, so I gave this a go with a simple recipe from Three Many Cooks. And you know what? They weren’t only passable, but truly good. I’m talking airy and moist, the way a good biscuit should be.

gluten-free

Just look at them! Don’t you want to load up a plate and slather them with sweet butter?

For pie recipe with Cup4Cup Flour, click here.

recipe after the jump

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From the Market: Think Pink Edition

Strawberry & Rhubarb Smoothie with Lemon Basil | Minimally Invasive

When the unrelenting greigeness of the winter landscape weighs heavily on my soul, especially so in March when my internal calendar — still set to Southern seasonal rotations, even after all these years — says the world should be warm and bursting with life, I dream of color. By May, our yard is awash in yellow forsythia and tiny purple blooms in the grass — probably weeds, but I don’t care — and I begin to recover. Still, the really vibrant colors don’t come until later, and not until the Farmers’ Market starts up again around Memorial Day do I bother to buy fruit. There’s just no comparison between the beautiful but insipid berries you see at the market and the beautiful and flavorful ones you get locally. (The strawberries taste like strawberries, and the snozzberries taste like snozzberries!) So last week I decided to think pink.

Rhubarb Syrup and Strawberry & Rhubarb Smoothie with Lemon Basil | Minimally Invasive

Though rhubarb seems to be long gone by now, I still have a bottle of lovely rhubarb syrup in the fridge that mixes will with all sorts of things, and is still a classic with strawberries. I blended up a little shake to get me through the morning — strawberries, rhubarb syrup, lemon basil, goat’s milk yogurt and ice. Nothing fancy, but so delicious and fresh, I feel healthier just remembering it.

Strawberry & Rhubarb Smoothie with Lemon Basil | Minimally Invasive

Honestly, couldn’t you just have a glass of that right now? Aaaahhhh…

But one can only drink so many strawberries and they don’t last forever, not even close, so I had to come up with something else for them. Lucky for me (and all of us, really), Deb at Smitten Kitchen posted a recipe for strawberries & cream biscuits a few weeks ago.
Gluten-Free Strawberries & Cream Biscuits | Minimally Invasive
whimper

I converted the original recipe to gluten-free, using Jules Gluten-Free AP Flour. Because the last batch of biscuits I made with this flour blend turned out fairly dry, I played with the proportions of ingredients, adding more butter (two extra tablespoons) and cream (an extra 1/4 cup). Like that’s ever a bad thing. With all of the extra liquid, they had to bake a while longer to turn golden brown, but they eventually did, after about 25 minutes. The tweaks certainly took care of the dryness, but I think there’s something about the GF flours that kept the juices from spilling out of the biscuits. The cornstarch, maybe? Not that I’m complaining; they were awfully tasty anyway.

Gluten-Free Strawberries & Cream Biscuits | Minimally Invasive

But boy, do they ever not reheat well. Just a warning for you.

Gluten-Free Strawberries & Cream Biscuits | Minimally Invasive

Gluten-Free Strawberries & Cream Biscuits | Minimally Invasive

I think we still have a few weeks of strawberries before they’re gone for another year. I fully intend to enjoy these ephemeral beauties until then and store the memories for the long winter ahead.

Strawberries | Minimally Invasive

recipe after the jump

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Good morning

I worked up a batch of gluten-free biscuits this morning, adapted from Ms. Edna Lewis‘s recipe. They were just a touch dry so I’ll add more buttermilk next time, but they went down just fine with a little Meyer lemon curd (much more on which later).

Happy first day of spring!

Some spring cleaning

Hello, and welcome to Spring!

We had CRAZYGOOD weather this weekend, which finally gave me the kick in the pants I needed to cook/take pictures again. Those winter doldrums are no joke, and my whole existence turned into a daily grind just to make it through. But here I am on the other side, and no worse for wear!

So here you go — a little spring cleaning from the past month or so, and a wrap-up of recent goings-on in our neck of the woods.


Pasta e ceci from Rachael Eats. We had this weekly for a spell and while I love it beyond any other soup I made over the winter, I’m looking forward to something less filling.


Shirley Corriher’s Touch of Grace biscuits with butter & fig jam. Made a damned fine breakfast, but not as good as scrambled eggs and morels will be in a few weeks.


French “peasant” beets from Food52.


He really wanted my attention.

More pictures after the jump.

Continue reading “Some spring cleaning”

Slap yo’ mama

Confession time: I wasn’t raised on anything even resembling homemade biscuits, an especially shameful admission for a Southerner. The closest to “from scratch” my family ever got was Bisquick, but more often Dad would crack open a can of flaky biscuits and call it breakfast. So I don’t know where I developed a taste for the real stuff, but I’m glad I did, because there’s just no comparison.

This was a big biscuit weekend around here. I woke Saturday with a craving and set the wheels in motion, but the results were unsatisfactory, so I followed up with a second round Sunday because I just knew there was a better recipe out there. And of course there was; Gourmet ran an article on Ms. Edna Lewis and her protegé Scott Peacock not so long ago, and the magazine was practically staring me in the face as I blithely searched recipes online. Why would I look for second-rate when the ultimate was right there? It’s like reading Adrian Tomine when all you want is Dan Clowes or popping in a DVD of When Harry Met Sally when you know you’d be much more satisfied by Annie Hall. My ways are mysterious, sometimes even to myself.

So Ms. Lewis (via Mr. Peacock) was very particular about her biscuits, you’ll probably be unsurprised to hear. From the brand of flour to the method of cutting the biscuits, it’s all very precisely laid out in the recipe. White Lily flour — a Southern staple made from a soft wheat — is preferred. Naturally, it’s nearly impossible to find around here, so I made a close approximation with 2 parts cake flour to 3 parts all-purpose flour. And because I just don’t keep lard at hand, I used Plugra instead, figuring it has a higher percentage of butterfat than most supermarket brands, so it’d be closer to lard. And really, who can complain about Plugra?

I worked the butter into the flour with my icy hands (which, though naturally chilly, were perfect for the task after a mile-long walk with Rufus on a 15-degree morning), then stirred buttermilk into the mixture juuuust until the dough came together. After kneading the dough briefly on a well-floured board, I rolled it out and began cutting the biscuits. Did you know that you shouldn’t twist the biscuit cutter as you do this? Well, it’s true, and it was more difficult to break myself of that habit than you might think, but all turned out well.

Just a short time later, we were enjoying pillowy, crusty biscuits brushed with melted butter. Gil went the standard route, smearing his biscuit halves with butter and jam, but I ate my biscuits dipped in pure cane syrup, just the way I have since I was a tiny tot. Oh, man, it just curls my toes. Excellent stuff.

Do give this recipe a try if you’re ever craving buttermilk biscuits. Just remember to take the recipe as gospel (except for the lard, I suppose); if you do, you’re guaranteed one heavenly breakfast.

recipe after the jump

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