Ay yi yi, Southern biscuits. Those things are the one food that I consider to be evil. They command me to yield to them. I can’t help but crave their buttery lightness and they way they wickedly make my eyes well up as my taste buds melt and my mind squishes along with it. Dramatic, yes, but biscuits, I’m talking to you. I really do love you. You have a terrible way of twisting my finger to make me do whatever you like. But I love you.
It took me quite a while to find a biscuit recipe that I really thought was perfect. Seriously, it took years. I’m from South Carolina. It seems that grandmas would be coming out of their houses, standing on their porches, waving their towels and yelling biscuit recipes into the air at any youngin’ that would have part in it. But nope. I remember making my first batch of biscuits and they came out of the oven an inch wide and rock-like. Mmm. Er, not.
A traditional southern biscuit recipe will have to wait. Today, we are on number three of the pumpkin series: pumpkin buttermilk biscuits. And they are delicious with spiced maple butter.
If you’re skeptical about eating a biscuit infused with pumpkin (I can’t imagine, but if you are), simmer down (cooking humor) and think. Pumpkin. Biscuits. Pumpkin. Biscuits. Hm. We will stop there. And I know that you will love them.
pumpkin buttermilk biscuits
2 cups unbleached flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
5 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, chilled
1/3 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup roasted pumpkin purée
3 tbsp honey
When creating biscuits, the butter needs to be cold. This is because the cold butter creates separation in between the raw dough and as it cooks and melts in the oven, it leaves little pockets of air all throughout each biscuit. Flakiness!
Preheat the oven to 400º. Combine flour, baking powder, spices, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter pieces and crumble it with your fingers in the flour mixture until the butter and flour resemble a coarse, crumbly meal. Work quickly with the butter so the warmth of your fingers doesn’t melt the butter. Chill this mixture for about 10 minutes.
Whisk the buttermilk and honey in a medium bowl until well blended. Add the pumpkin. After the flour mixture has chilled, add the buttermilk mixture to it and mix until just combined. You made need to add more flour at this point to keep it from sticking.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and gently knead several times, sprinkling flour as needed, and pat to 3/4″ thickness. Cut the dough into whatever size you’d like using a biscuit cutter or something round. I tend to like bigger biscuits, so I just use the mouth of a jar, which is about 2 1/2″ wide. Continue rolling out the dough and using until it’s gone. Arrange the biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper until they just touch each other and bake for about 14 minutes, or until golden. You are welcome to brush them with melted butter after they come out of the oven.
spiced maple butter
5 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/3 tsp cinnamon
a sprinkle of ground nutmeg
a sprinkle of ground cloves
Combine all ingredients until smooth and well blended.
These little guys are perfect served warm with the maple butter. I, unfortunately, am a butter dipper, rather than a spreader, so I usually end up eating about equal parts bread and butter. Hmph. Someone come help me. I can see the biscuits staring at me from our little kitchen table. I think they’re armed.