My love for biscuits has been well and truly established. And though I will never turn away from a classic Southern buttermilk biscuit, piping hot, slathered with butter, I do occasionally like to veer off the path a bit – but not too far! But with summer blueberry bounty in full swing, I decided to combine my love of biscuits and blueberries for a trip away from the standard muffin.
I like a nice big biscuit, but feel free to cut them into smaller squares, just adjust the cooking time accordingly and watch carefully.
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup cold shortening
¾ cup buttermilk, well-shaken
½ cup fresh blueberries
3 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking sheet.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Cut the shortening into pieces and drop in the mixer. Mix until the flour and shortening are blended together and look grainy.
Measure out the buttermilk and crack in the egg. Beat lightly to blend. With mixer running, add the buttermilk to the dry ingredients and mix until the dough comes together. It will be a soft, floppy dough.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board and sprinkle a little flour over the top. With well-floured hands, knead in the blueberries, doing your best to distribute them throughout the dough. If the dough is too wet to work with, you can work in a little more flour, but this is meant to be a sticky dough. With floured hands, gently pat the dough into a rectangle about 4 by 8 inches. Flour a knife or bench scraper and cut the dough into eight squares. Carefully transfer the biscuits to the greased baking sheet.
Bake the biscuits until risen and golden on the edges, 8 – 12 minutes, watching closely.
While the biscuits are cooking, melt the butter in a small saucepan or the microwave. Stir in the sugar and nutmeg until you have a thick paste. The sugar will not dissolve completely.
When the biscuits are done, remove from the oven and immediately brush the tops with the butter and sugar mixture. Coat the biscuits well, but you may not use all the topping. Leave to cool on the pan.
Because of the sweet buttery, sugary topping, these biscuits do not keep well, so it’s best to make them the day you plan to serve.
Makes 8 biscuits