The thing about biscuits is that you don’t know whether to eat them in the morning for breakfast or devour them at dinner as a roll to sop up all of the yummy sauce left behind. I’m getting off track…what was I saying? Oh, do you lean them towards something sweet or something savory? I don’t really care because just as long as biscuits are involved I’m not complaining. Whoever invented biscuits should get a huge monument built in their honor. Like a big statue or something, at least. I know that in different parts of the world, biscuits are completely different. It’s more of a cookie or a cracker of some kind. But here in the states, for the most part, we’re talking about buttery fluffy quick breads that I just want to stuff my face with.
These are a cross between a few different desserts. It’s like blueberry crumble meets blueberry cobbler—because cobblers are usually topped with biscuits—meets blueberry streusel muffins meets buttermilk biscuits. I chose blueberries because they’re currently in season and are on sale everywhere I turn. Literally, everywhere. They’re practically giving them away. So I thought it would be a good idea to come up with something sweet to use up all those free blueberries. Here we are now, knee deep in blueberry cobbler biscuits. Not really knee deep, but how cool (and delicious) would that be?! I’m making a mental note right now, as I type this, to make that fantasy a reality. Jonathan Melendez: Making dreams come true since August 2014.
True fact: My mamma’s favorite berry is a blueberry. She also shares my love (and passion) for biscuits so this recipe actually goes out to her as a BTW, FYI, and P.S. It’s the least I could do after she gave birth to me and fed me and clothed me and provided a roof over my head for all those years. I mean, biscuits pretty much makes us even. Right mom? You don’t have to answer because I know they do. That’s how magical biscuits are. Get in on all this magic.
We’re walking the thin line here between breakfast and dessert and I don’t even care. You shouldn’t care either. I’m all for eating sweets for breakfast (sorry mom). Sure I can be having something light and healthy but why would I do that when there’s such a thing as Breakfast Ice Cream, but enough about that, we’re here to talk about biscuits not ice cream. And biscuits we shall talk about.
Before we get to the actual biscuit making process, we need to get the blueberries started.
**Note: It’s important that the blueberries be fresh, instead of frozen, because you don’t want any excess moisture going into the biscuits. That would sog them up.**
Just like if we were going to make actual blueberry cobbler or blueberry crumble, add the sugar, flour, lemon juice and lemon zest to the blueberries.
Toss together to evenly combine, and set it off to the side. Give it a chance to marinade (if you will) and develop some good flavor.
In the meantime, let’s turn our attention to the crumble or the streusel part of this recipe. After all, these biscuits are a combination of blueberry crumble and blueberry cobbler and blueberry muffins, so the streusel/crumble part is very important here.
The first thing we need to do is toast a handful of sliced almonds. You can toast them in the oven (350ºF) or in a dry skillet over medium heat for a few minutes until golden brown. Allow them to cool down completely before proceeding.
**Note: Make sure to keep a close watch on the almonds as they tend to burn super fast if you’re not paying attention. I like to give them a toss every once in a while to make sure they’re evenly toasted!**
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ground nutmeg, oats, almonds, and salt. Stir until the dry mixture is evenly combined. Then throw in the cold butter.**Tip: You’ll get a better streusel topping if the butter is cold when you mix it in, instead of room temperature. I feel like you get a more desirable crumb when the butter is cold.**
Use a fork or a pastry blender (or even your hands) to incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients. You want the mixture to resemble coarse crumbs the size of peas.
Set this bowl off to the side as well, along with the blueberries. Forget about both of them until we need them later on.
The time has finally come to make the buttermilk biscuits. Which I’m sure is what we’ve all been waiting for. I wish you could really experience just how happy biscuits make me feel. Well, buttermilk biscuits to be precise. They’re one of my favorite things to eat. Especially in the morning with some bacon and eggs. And in the afternoon with some ham and swiss cheese. And of course, for dinner with a fried chicken and mashed potatoes. So basically biscuits all day long is what I’m trying to say.
Biscuit dough is very simple to make, and yet it’s also super easy to mess up. Just stick to these directions, and you’ll be fine.
In a large bowl, whisk or sift together the dry ingredients. Flour, baking powder, cream of tartar and salt. Add in very cold butter. Like super cold butter, that has been diced.
**Note: It’s VERY important that the butter be super cold because cold butter bits allow for flakier, fluffier, higher biscuits. That’s what we’re looking for.**
Cut in the butter until it’s the size of peas. Work fast so you don’t soften the butter too much. Again, you can use a pastry blender, two butter knives or your hands to do this. I sometimes use my vegetable masher, it works perfectly. Pour in the cold buttermilk and honey.
**Note: I didn’t want these biscuits to be too sweet because the blueberry crumble filling is going to add the perfect amount of sweetness. So instead of adding sugar to the dry ingredients, I actually like adding a bit of honey along with the buttermilk. It’s a nice balance of flavors.**
Mix with a spatula until the dough comes together. Do not over-mix the dough at this point! You don’t want to end up with flat tough biscuits.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times to bring together. Then either with your hands or with a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a large rectangle, about half of an inch thick.
Pour the blueberries onto one side of the rolled biscuit dough, leaving a bit of the edge free. Then sprinkle the streusel filling on top of the berries.
**Note: I made enough filling and topping for two batches of this recipe so ignore the fact that I sill have some of each. You won’t have that much leftover, I promise you.**
This next step is probably the hardest part of the entire recipe. Carefully fold the empty side of dough over the blueberries and crumb topping. You want to fold it like a book, and press down on the edges to seal them somewhat, so that the filling doesn’t ooze out too much during baking.
You can cut out the biscuits into rounds if you wish, however, I don’t like the idea of wasting any of the dough, so I just cut it into rectangular pieces. That way, you don’t end up with any scraps you’ll have to throw away at the end, because throwing away biscuit dough should be illegal.
Place the biscuits on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, giving them enough space for spreading during baking. The final step is to brush the tops liberally with melted butter. This will ensure the biscuits get golden brown on top.
Bake in a preheated 425ºF oven for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown on the top and edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool down, somewhat, before eating.
**Note: Fair warning, it’s crucial to allow them to cool down slightly so you don’t burn the roof of your mouth. The hot fruit can be lethal. Not that I would know what it feels like. That totally did not happen to me at all, but if it did, I’d tell you that it hurt like no other.**
You can freeze these once they’ve cooled down completely. Pop them into a freezer-safe airtight container or a freezer food storage bag. Whenever you’re craving something sweet or have a need for a biscuity treat, then just pop one in the oven for a bit to warm through. You’ll have a tasty snack in no time.
If blueberries aren’t in season, or if you’re an alien and don’t like blueberries, then you can feel free to swap them out for another berry or fruit. Raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and even pears (believe it or not) would work just fine. The great thing about this recipe is that you can make it your own by using whatever is in season at the time.
If all else fails, just make the biscuits plain and you’ll have a great buttermilk biscuit recipe to call your own. We all need one of those in our recipe repertoire because making biscuits is sort of majorly important. I’m doing you a service by taunting you with these biscuits. Just waving them in front of your face like an evil sorcerer. I promise I’m not that evil. Now go out and make these biscuits. (That’s an order).
Blueberry Cobbler Biscuits
For the blueberry filling
- 1 pint fresh blueberries
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
For the streusel topping
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup oats
- ¼ cup toasted sliced almonds
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter diced
For the biscuits
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ cup 1 stick unsalted butter, cold and diced
- 1 tablespoons honey
- ⅔ cup cold buttermilk
- 2 melted butter for brushing
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small bowl, toss together the blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Set off to the side, and allow to sit for about 10 minutes.
- To make the streusel topping, in a separate bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, toasted almonds, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk until evenly combined. Cut in the butter with a fork, vegetable masher, two knives, pastry blender or your hands. Break down the butter quickly until it resembles coarse crumbs the size of peas. Set off to the side.
- To make the biscuits, in a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and cream of tartar. You can whisk the dry ingredients together or sift them into the bowl. Add in the butter and cut in until it resembles coarse crumbs the size of peas. Stir in the buttermilk and honey until the dough comes together and no longer appears to be dry. Transfer to a floured work surface and knead once or twice to gather it together. Roll out the dough into a large rectangle about half an inch thick. Pour the blueberries (leaving most of the liquid in the bowl) onto one side of the rolled dough. Top with the streusel filling and then fold the dough over the berries and streusel, like a book. Press down on the edges slightly. Cut into ten even pieces and place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops liberally with melted butter.
- Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown on the tops and edges. Allow to cool down slightly before eating. Enjoy!
Biscuits can be frozen after baking. Just store in a freezer-safe airtight container or food storage bag. Rewarm in the oven before eating.