BVC Eats: Fruit Biscuits

All creativity addresses a problem. This recipe was created to answer the question, What can be done with all this fruit? Summer and early autumn is a tidal wave of glorious fruit in my area. Strawberries run from April to September, cherries from May until October, raspberries apparently continuously, like running water. There’s enough luscious fruit to fill a river.

An allied difficulty is eating for heath. One should eat more fruit, but not piled on top of ice cream, too often. If the portion could be controlled, if the caloric count wasn’t excessive, this would all be good.

So! I have created something to address these issues. Allow me to introduce the fruit biscuit. This is simply a baking powder biscuit with a thick layer of fruit baked onto the top, a trick achieved by baking it upside down and then flipping it. The recipe calls for exactly one pint of fresh fruit, which can be anything. This picture is apricot, with almonds, but below is blackberries, and the fresh fruit at the top of this post is huckleberries. All fruit is grist for this mill. Si far I have experimented with apricots with almonds and cardamom, blackberries with walnuts, huckleberries with walnuts, sour cherries with almonds and a dash of almond extract, and yellow plums with walnuts and rosemary. The possibilities are endless.

You will need a large-muffin baking pan, the kind with a 3.5 or 4 inch diameter cup. I also deployed my silicon muffin liners, so there’s no difficulty popping them out.

 Fruit Biscuits

1 pint seasonal fruit

Sugar or honey

Nuts, if you like

Spices, to taste: cinnamon? cardamom? perhaps a dash of rum? Or herbs like rosemary or even basil.

Cornstarch or tapioca

1 heaping cup all purpose flour

4 Tbs butter

2 tsp. baking powder

dash salt

1/2 tsp. sugar

3/4 cup milk

Wash the fruit. If it has stones (cherries, apricots, plums) pit the fruit and if it has a core (apples) core it. If you feel it needs peeling (apples?), peel it. If it’s big (peaches) cut it up into quarters or large chunks. Put it all into a saucepan over low heat. Add some sugar or honey, at least a teaspoonful. Cook the fruit until it loses its shape and becomes slushy. At this point, taste it. More sugar? Add it now. Kind of flat? A squeeze of lemon juice will help. Spices? now’s the time. Cardamom goes great with apricot, and I am not above slipping a spoonful of Luxardo into cherries or blackberries. If it’s very juicy, sprinkle with cornstarch and mix the starch in to thicken it. Get it to where it’s oatmeal thick, not soupy.

Have your six- cup muffin pan or your six silicon muffin cups ready. If you’re not using a silicon cup, grease the muffin pan. Put a sprinkle of sugar into the bottom of the cup, and add the nuts if you’re using them. Divide the fruit mixture among the cups.

Then make the biscuits. These are your standard baking powder biscuits. Mix all the dry ingredients and then cut in the butter. I use a food processor for this so it’s fast. Add most of the milk, the rest of it if it seems dry. Turn out the dough and knead it together into a mass. Then flatten it into a thick hockey puck. Use a knife to cut this circle into six wedges. Squish each wedge into a little hockey puck, and put it on top of the fruit in each muffin cup.

Bake at 450 degrees until the biscuit on top is lightly browned Let it cool enough to handle, and then turn the pan (or each cup) upside down to pop the biscuit out. Eat them warm, or cold, with your morning coffee. I store the biscuit in its silicon cup and turn it out just before serving.

 

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About Brenda Clough

Brenda W. Clough spent much of her childhood overseas, courtesy of the U.S. government. Her first fantasy novel, The Crystal Crown, was published by DAW in 1984. She has also written The Dragon of Mishbil (1985), The Realm Beneath (1986), and The Name of the Sun (1988). Her children’s novel, An Impossumble Summer (1992), is set in her own house in Virginia, where she lives in a cottage at the edge of a forest. Her novel How Like a God, available from BVC, was published by Tor Books in 1997, and a sequel, Doors of Death and Life, was published in May 2000. Her latest novels from Book View Cafe include Revise the World (2009) and Speak to Our Desires. Her novel A Most Dangerous Woman is being serialized by Serial Box. Her novel The River Twice is newly available from BVC.

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