Nov 16, 2011

Recipe of the week: Pumpkin Biscuits

We're nearing the home stretch with this miniseries of pumpkin recipes.  As witnessed by my posts over the last few weeks, most pumpkin recipes are sweet: pies, cakes, cookies, muffins, donuts, etc. And most of them partner cinnamon (and often nutmeg or allspice) with the pumpkin to achieve that familiar "pumpkin" flavor.

This week will take us in a more savory different direction:  pumpkin biscuits.  if you look around, you'll find there are recipes for sweet biscuits featuring pumpkin or sweet potato puree, with brown sugar and the traditional spices. But this one (adapted from Country Living) is decidedly not sweet.  Instead it has a yin and yang of  cayenne pepper and ginger, and only a small squeeze of honey; no sugar, no cinnamon.   The biscuits can be eaten warm and buttered or slathered with apple or pumpkin butter.  Or - as you can see here, I upped the ante with slices of Black Forest ham (country ham would be total awesomeness, but I didn't have any on hand) and a dollop of apple butter for a yummy flavor combination that would be perfect for a holiday breakfast or brunch spread.

Spicy Savory Pumpkin Biscuits

The salt and honey arrived late on the scene...
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespooon + 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400.  Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper; set aside.  In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients until blended.  With a pastry knife, cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  In a small bowl, combine the pumpkin puree and honey; add to the flour mixture just until blended.  Mix in buttermilk until the mixture clings together.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and lightly knead and fold douh a half-dozen times.  Pat out 3/4 to 1-inch thickness and cut with a biscuit cutter or drinking glass.  I used a 2-inch cutter.  Place on baking sheet leaving an inch or so between biscuits.  Press scraps together and cut again until the dough is used up.   It will make 12, 2-inch biscuits.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown; transfer to wire rack to cool slightly before serving.  Best served warm.

Happy baking,

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