This morning little Lynnie keeps yelling and pointing in excitement at the cake I made for last night’s Sunday dinner. She is telling me she wants it for her birthday. The heels on the last three slices of the cake … Continue reading
Back when I thought I could eat gluten I was a biscuit hound. It was nothing for me to scarf down two or three. I have been known to forgo the rest of dinner for a good biscuit. I always considered myself a connoisseur, from angel biscuits to crescents or buttermilk to sweet potato I think I have made them all. Some of them were more fussy to make then others and all always in need of a light hand and a quick touch to keep them from being tough.
This biscuit is what I call a redneck biscuit and I call them this with fondness. They are a working mom’s weeknight biscuit. They come together quickly and without worry and they lack nothing other then fussiness. There is nothing in the instructions about overworking the dough, you don’t need to look for a cornmeal texture in the flour, there is nothing about spacing the biscuits perfectly or about flakiness or making sure you cut the edges cleanly for a good rise. No they are pretty much cream, add the liquid, stir and scoop.
They are inspired by Shirley Coriher’s Touch-of-Grace biscuits which I started making just before I found out I couldn’t eat gluten. They are the kind of biscuits that are gooey in the middle, they aren’t layered but are tender and airy. They are the kind of biscuit you might find at a really good diner. You can imagine this old dogs disappointment when I had to stop eating them. The thing is about 4 months ago I started playing around with and making gluten-free biscuits. While I found many I liked, I went nuts for none.
Then I got a burr up my craw and decided I wanted to make Shirley’s biscuits but gluten-free. It wasn’t all that tough, or I should say, maybe I got lucky. I found a recipe on Bob’s Redmill and, using it as a base and replicating what I knew about Mrs. Coriher’s biscuits, well, low and behold I struck biscuit gold.
In all honesty I like the flavor of this biscuit better then the original. The sorghum flour has such a great flavor. One of the big bonus’s if there are any left, which is a rarity around here, is they hold well into the next day or two.
Saving Grace Biscuits (inspired by Shirley Coriher’s Touch-of-Grace Biscuits)
1 cup white sorghum flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1. Heat the oven to 450˚F.
2. In a bowl combine the dry ingredients.
3. Cube the butter and add it to the flour. Using your hands work it into the flour until there are no big hunks of butter left.
4. Add the buttermilk and stir with a wooden spoon, The batter will be very loose, it should barely hold its shape before slowly begins spreading.
5. Liberally butter an eight inch cake pan. Using a half cup ice cream scoop, scoop up a ball of dough and turn it out into the pan close to the edge. Continue turning out biscuits working your way around the outside first leaving room for the seventh and final biscuit in the middle.
6. Bake the biscuits for 23 minutes or until browned on top. When you remove them from the oven they will drop. That is OK.
7. Serve with lots of butter.
There are so many different kinds of bread. You could make sourdough where you feed a starter flour to grow it and keep it alive, you can retard loaves in the refrigerator overnight, there are paté fermentes, bigas and all … Continue reading
Yes, I could imagine a cookie just like this being created during the Great Depression. The nutmeg lends itself to the past and makes the cookie feel like something a grandmother would make for her grandchildren on a Sunday afternoon. … Continue reading
This is a tart with an agenda. Its roots are old fashioned and small town but don’t let that fool you. It is as luscious and silky as Scarlett Johansson sauntering the red carpet. It is as lascivious as True Blood and as beaten-up as Mickey Rourke on a bad day.
There are tarts and then there are tarts. The best are the kind that even your mama would like. Never suspecting or questioning what makes up its character but just enjoying it for what it is because it is so good. All the while, later, you know you are going to lick your fork like…well, lets just say it is a tart that likes to please and it will.
Truly, it is like fine champagne on a Sunday afternoon. The basis of this tart has been around for a long time, the old fashioned egg custard pie, you know the one with nutmeg that has shown up at every family reunion since people started having reunions.
Well, take that base and an idea from Alice Waters and her Marsala cream pots, add in the videos on the FOOD52 site from Shuna Lydon about cooling your custard and then use duck eggs(again Waters idea) which make for an even silkier tart and what you come up with is nothing less than sexy. Never fear, I have written the recipe to use chicken eggs but if you ever come across fresh duck eggs by all means use them to make a custard.
For the crust::
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup semolina flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 finger pinch of salt
For the custard::
1 1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons madeira
4 large eggs, or 3 duck eggs
For the custard:
1. Place the milk into a sauce pan and scald it over medium high heat. Remove the pan from the burner. In a mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, madeira and salt. Temper the eggs by whisking in a 1/2 cup of warm milk and then add the rest while whisking. Cover the bowl and place the custard base into the fridge. You want it to be cold. It can sit in the fridge overnight which is probably best but at least let it get to 35 or so degrees. You could do this in an ice bath if you are in a hurry.
To finish the tart:
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl and using a large wooden spoon mix all the crust ingredients smashing the butter into the mixture with the back of the spoon until you have a cornmeal and cous cous looking crumble. You can use your hands rubbing them together with the mixture between them to make some of the bigger chunks smaller.
2. Place an 8 inch tart pan onto a sheet tray. This will make it easier to move around and get out of the oven. Dump the crumbles into the tart pan. Press the dough up the sides, packing it tightly as you go, and then work toward the center until you have a crust. Bake the crust for 20 minutes. Remove it from the oven.
3. Turn the oven up to 400 degrees. Strain the chilled custard through a fine mesh strainer to remove any albumen pieces. Pour the custard into the tart till it is half full. Place the tart into the oven and then finish filling the tart. You will probably have about a 1/2 cup of base left. I made a little extra so you wouldn’t come up short in case your tart pan was a little bigger.
4. Back the tart for 15 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake it for another 20 to 30 minutes or until set. Depending on how cold you custard is will lengthen or shorten the baking time. If you give the sheet tray a gentle but sharp shake the tart should jiggle like jello if it is done. If it creates waves that look like you dropped a pebble into still water continue cooking.
5. When the tart is done remove it from the oven and let it cool completely. Cut and serve.
Most people, it seems, remember the first time they ate spinach pie. Chances are you were at an ethnic restaurant, maybe on your first food adventure to a Greek establishment, feeling continental and worldly. Maybe you where in college and … Continue reading