Every year, you dream about putting out fresh, homemade biscuits on the holiday table; but fear of failure, and the convenience of those popping fresh tubes, makes it nothing more than an annual fantasy. Then, you found out about these cream biscuits.
Instead of cutting butter into the flour, we’re using butterfat-laced heavy cream, which not only makes the recipe fast and easy, but also produces a biscuit that’s light, moist, and flaky. To that end, try and get some self-rising flour. You can make your own (see below), but for whatever reason, the pre-mixed stuff seems to work better.
As far as cutting goes, I don’t like to roll the dough too thin just to get more cuts. I do it about 5/8-inch thick, cut six nice biscuits, and then use the trimmings to get 4 or 5 more. You can get 12, but that depends on the exact size of your cutter. The nice thing about this dough is that re-rolling doesn’t seem to damage the texture.
If you do decide to raise your biscuit game this holiday season, maybe think about adding some chopped rosemary or sage to the melted butter. That would add some extra aromatic savoriness, not to mention make your kitchen smell really good. I hope you give these easy cream biscuits a try soon. Enjoy!
Ingredients for 10-12 Cream Biscuits:
2 cups self-rising flour (You can make you own by sifting together 2 cups of all-purpose flour with 1 tablespoon baking powder, and 1 teaspoon fine salt)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream2-3 tbsp melted butter Bake at 500 F. for 10 to 12 minutes, or until well-browned
Since we’re heading into rich and creamy sauce season, I
thought I’d use a nice hunk of Gorgonzola as an excuse to post a tutorial for a
classic “cream sauce.”
Unlike what’s passed off as the real stuff at casual
dining chains, a true cream sauce contains nothing but heavy cream, and is on
another level when it comes to taste and texture. A regular diet of cream sauce isn’t recommended, but once in
a while, it’s nice to take a break from the old 2%, and the technique is dead simple.
Simmer cream in a saucepan until it reduces and thickens slightly, flavor it
however, and toss in some hot (hopefully stuffed) pasta. Done and done.
I went with a fairly mild, crumbly Gorgonzola this time, but
no matter which you choose, be careful not to “cook” the cheese. You just want
to stir it in on low, until it’s almost gone, and then turn off the heat.
Otherwise the cheese will “break,” and you’ll have a greasy mess.
Since my mini-ravioli delivery system featured a squash
filling, I decided to finish with diced apples and toasted walnuts. It was
perfect with the rich sauce, and I recommend it if you’re using a similar
pasta. Since the sauce itself is so easy, as in one ingredient easy, you can
spend all that extra brainpower thinking of things you can add to it. I hope
you give this great sauce technique a try soon. Enjoy!
Ingredients for 2 large or 4 smaller portions:
1 cup heavy whipping cream (36% fat)
3 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp chopped Italian parsley
finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, optional
6 ounces dry mini-ravioli (double to 12-oz if using fresh
ravioli or tortellini)
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
It would be impossible to pick a “World’s Greatest Dessert,” but if you’re going to have that conversation, the classic crème caramel has to
be part of the discussion. When you combine stunning looks with amazing taste
and texture, this classic is hard to beat. The way the almost-burnt caramel
layer gets fused on, becomes one with, the creamy custard is nothing short of
magic. Crème brulee gets more press, but people that know, know.
If my plea for you to use crème fraiche goes unheeded, yes,
heavy cream will work here, but the subtle tang and nuttiness you get from the
fermented cream takes this to places the regular stuff just can’t. It also
seems to add some extra smoothness to the texture, and make no mistake; the
mouthfeel with this classic is just as critical as the flavor.
I’ve not tested my theory, but other substitutions like
buttermilk and sour cream should also work similarly. If you don’t have Grand
Marnier, just using vanilla is fine, but the vague scent of orange rind that it
provides the custard is really nice.
You also have the freedom to change the size and shape of
your ramekins. Whether you use fewer, larger ones, or a larger number of
smaller-sized ramekins, the procedure will work exactly the same. Of course,
you’ll have to adjust the cooking times, but the “just set” doneness test will be
your ultimate guide. I hope you give these classic treats a try soon. Enjoy!
Ingredients for 4 (6.5 oz) Crème Caramels:
*Scant 1/2 cup sugar, melted over medium heat until a dark
caramel forms (just a tad less than a full half cup)
1 large egg
3 large egg yolks
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp Grand Marnier
1/2 cup crème fraiche
1/2 cup milk
Bake at 325 F for about 45-50 minutes, or until just set.
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