Monday, May 31, 2010

Drop Biscuits with Strawberries and Cream

Strawberries made their first appearance at the farmer's market this week, which I was beyond excited to see. I bought quite a few on Saturday and plan on spending part of my time this week looking for strawberry recipes so I can buy a lot more this weekend.

The whole wheat flour adds a wonderful flavor to the biscuits, but they are still light and tender. This recipe is an excellent way to showcase the beautiful strawberries that will be around for much too short a time this summer.

Drop Biscuits with Strawberries and Cream
from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce

serves 6

My great-grandmother would make drop biscuits for me every summer when I was growing up. Hers were made from a boxed mix, sprinkled with sugar, and served with sliced sugared strawberries and a generous dollop of Cool Whip. I just loved sitting out on her back porch way past bedtime, in the summer heat, eating biscuits with her. This recipe is my updated version, composed around whole-wheat flour. Drop a warm biscuit into a bowl with some unsweetened whipped cream and a large spoonful of macerated fresh strawberries. It's every bit as good as my great-grandmother's dessert, just without the extra sugar and additives.

Butter for the baking sheet

3/4 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. kosher salt
1 c. cold heavy cream

1.5 t. sugar for dusting
1 lb. strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 T. sugar
1 c. cold heavy cream
1/3 c. creme fraiche, optional

1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Rub a baking sheet lightly with butter.

2. In a large bowl, sift together the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt, pouring back into the bowl any bits of grains or other ingredients that may remain in the sifter.

3. Pour in the cream and, using a fork or your hands, stir until the dough just begins to come together. The dough will be very shaggy, do not overmix.

4. Pile the dough into six mounds, leaving 4 inches between them. Use your hands to tuck in the rough pieces of dough. Sprinkle the biscuits with the remaining 1.5 t. of sugar.

5. Bake the biscuits for 34 to 40 minutes, rotating the sheet once halfway through, until the begin to color on the top.

6. While the biscuits are baking, place the berries in a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Allow them to macerate, uncovered at room temperature, for about 30 minutes, or until the biscuits are done. Meanwhile, whip the remaining cup of cream (combined with creme fraiche, if desired-see above) into soft peaks that barely hold their shape, and chill.

7. When the biscuits are out of the oven, fill six bowls with cream and berries, then nestle a warm biscuit alongside.

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