May 3, 2013

Biscuits with Rhubarb & Cream Cheese Whip


Perfect Biscuits and Rhubarb Shotcake

Happiness is finding a biscuit recipe that works. Ones that are fluffy, tender and crispy all at the same time. I tried so many this week that I'm wearing a biscuit around my middle, but it was worth it. Here's the trick — keep everything cold and handle it as little as possible. Chill the mixing bowl, freeze the butter (you'll add it using a cheese grater) and keep the buttermilk in the fridge until it's time. Mix it quickly and pat it gently into shape. I cut squares for maximum surface area. 

No better way to celebrate than with some tart rhubarb compote and whipped cream that looks like it's been spending time at the gym (where I should be). 

Rhubarb-Orange Compote

Makes about 2 cups

1 lb. (about 5 stalks) fresh rhubarb cut into 1/2 inch pieces (3 cups)
1/2 cup sugar
Juice and zest from 1 orange (appx. 1/4 cup and 1 teaspoon)

1. Put all ingredients into a saucepan and stir gently. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Let boil and reduce a bit. Give it a good stir then reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for another 5 minutes, stirring once or twice then let cool completely before serving (or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks).









Buttermilk Biscuits

Makes approx. 4 large (3"square) or 10 small (2"square)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter, frozen
3/4 cup buttermilk*, chilled
1 egg or a tablespoon of milk, cream or melted butter (optional)

Note: These are best served immediately.

1. Preheat oven to 425

2. Put dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Using largest holes on box grater, grate butter into flour. Toss gently. Add cold buttermilk and mix with a spatula just until combined (will be shaggy). Turn out onto a flour dusted surface and knead a few times until it comes together. Use your hands to shape and pat into a rectangle that's about 1" thick. Cut into three-inch squares pressing down (not twisting) the cutter (and dip the cutter into flour so it won't stick). Put on an ungreased baking sheet.

3. Beat egg (or use milk or cream) and gently brush onto tops of biscuits (optional - will make them brown).

4. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.

* add 1 1/2 tablespoons of white vinegar to 1 cup regular milk if you don't have buttermilk on hand.



Whipped Cream with Cream Cheese

from thekitchn

Makes 3 cups

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups whipping cream
4 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Whip the cream until thick (but not holding a peak) in one bowl.

2. Whip the cream cheese until fluffy in another.

3. Combine them and whip until peaks hold, then mix in sugar and vanilla just until combined.

Assemble

Split a biscuit. On one side put a big spoonful of compote juice and let it soak in before adding a spoonful of fruit. On other side spread a generous dollop of whipped cream cheese. Put sides together. For more rhubarb punch lift the top half off and add another few chunks of fruit. You won't be disappointed.


Rhubarb shortcake


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