Cream Biscuits with Strawberry Balsamic Jam


Cream Biscuits with Strawberry JamIn my years of baking and teaching, I have found that people are leery of making pie crusts and biscuits.  The one thing both of these usually have in common is cutting in the butter.  How about a recipe for the best biscuits ever with no butter – period.

This has to be the easiest biscuit recipe ever with only 4 ingredients.  Cake flour is used to ensure tenderness.  The cream takes the place of butter. When you think of butter, it is only cream that is whipped to a solid state with the liquid being spun out.  So the use of all cream makes perfect sense.

The dough will be a bit wet and that it as it should be.  I learned the traditional way of making biscuits from Shirley Corriher, a biochemist who wrote, Cookwise and Bakewise.  With Shirley being from the south, I can’t imagine a better teacher.  She stressed the importance of the dough being very wet so the steam created in a hot oven would cause the biscuits to expand to great heights.

I have given two instructions for baking depending upon how you want them to come out.

The Strawberry Balsamic Jam was originally used for a Strawberry Chicken Salad we made at the shop, but it teams perfectly with these biscuits.  While the normal recipe for fruit jams is equal parts of sugar and fruit by weight, this recipe has a bit more sugar due to the balsamic vinegar.  The black pepper gives a bit of heat that rounds out the jam.

While jams are not difficult to make, when to stop cooking is often a mystery if you haven’t done it before.  There are all kinds of spoon tests, but the easiest way is simply to take it to 200 degrees and remove it from the heat. Stir the jam from time to time while boiling, increasing the time and frequency after the mixture gets to the halfway point.

Be sure to use a pan at least three times as big as the combined ingredients as the mixture will bubble up considerably.  Conversely, as it approaches the end of the cooking time, the volume will appear to decrease as the mixture gets thicker while the bubbles go from frantic to large and lazy.

When the jam is done, remove it from the heat and let it cool. Transfer to a container and store in the refrigerator.

Biscuits and jam are a treat, even if occasionally which is all the more reason to make sure they are the best ever.

Cream BiscuitsIngredients 3 cups sifted cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 to 1 2/3 cups 40% cream
1 tablespoon cream

Preheat oven* (see note below).

Place the flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.  Dry ingred. in bowlBlend together.  With the machine running, pour the cream in a slow, steady stream.  The dough should be somewhat sticky.  If it is not, add more cream.Cream going in

On a floured surface, knead the dough 5 or 6 times to bring together, Kneadedthen pat or roll the dough to about 3/4 inch thick.  Patting outPatted outCut out desired shape and size.  Cutting outRe-roll as necessary. Place on a parchment lined sheet.  Biscuits on trayBrush the tops with the 1 tablespoon cream.  Bake (see choices below) just until colored around edges.

Serve immediately or cool and freeze.  To heat from a frozen state, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place on a baking sheet directly from the freezer and heat for 8 to 10 minutes.

*If you bake the biscuits at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes they will have a softer top and bottom.

If you bake them at 450 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes they will have a browner and crisper top and bottom.

Strawberry Balsamic JamIngredients 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup water
3 1/2 cup sugar (700 grams or 1 1/2 pounds)
1 1/4 pounds strawberries, hulled and sliced (575 grams)
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

Place all the ingredients in the order listed in a saucepan at least three times as large as the ingredients as it will rise up really high when it come to a rolling boil. In Saucepan 1Stir occasionally and especially as it gets thicker.

Bring to a full boil for 10 to 15 minutes.In Saucepan 2In Saucepan 3In Saucepan 4In Saucepan 5In Saucepan 6 It will be done when the syrup running off the spoon is noticeably thicker and the mixture will have fallen in the pan and the  bubbles will be slow and thick. The temperature of the jam will be 200 degrees.In Saucepan 8 Remove from the heat, cool and store in the refrigerator.In Saucepan 9

Yield: Approximately 3 cups

Pastry has not only been my profession, but my passion. If there is anything in particular you would like to see or any questions about baking or pastry, please let me know. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a post!
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12 thoughts on “Cream Biscuits with Strawberry Balsamic Jam

  1. Cop Car

    Hi, Helen: Sorry that your other blog is over – happy that you still have your pastry blog running. In our family, there were as many varieties of biscuits as there were cooks – male and female. My dad and his side of the family made flaky biscuits; my mom and her side of the family’s biscuits were not flaky, but tender with a chewy crust. As far as I know, none ever used butter – they used lard, bacon grease, or Crisco. My great-grandfather’s standard evening meal comprised a glass of crumbled, left-over biscuit (with cornbread when available) which he salted and peppered before adding milk. Memories.

  2. Marianne

    Thanks a lot for this discovery, …MMMHH !
    Yes, scones are different, you may add raisins.
    What about English Muffins, quiet different too, and tasty with orange
    marmalade ? HHmmm …


    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Marianne – Raisins, cherries almost any dried fruit. Citrus peel and here in the states we even add chocolate chips. I agree about the English Muffins – really good. Very tasty made with whole wheat flour!

  3. diane

    Dear Helen, thanks for this post. Quick question on the jam (and when to finish the cooking – I agree that the test of doneness can be tricky!) — is it 200 or 220 since both are referenced — and is it degrees C or F? Thanks again! diane

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Diane: Paris, huh? Thanks for pointing out the discrepancy. I fixed it so it reads correctly which is 200 degrees. In the states, it’s always Fahrenheit. These stay moist for days – I am still eating them. Used one for a peach shortcake today. When I was small my mother gave me shortcakes with half and half to get me to eat something – anything! I treated myself today and returned to my childhood for a short while.

  4. Eva Forson

    Helen, I have always supposed that the American biscuits are savory, made with buttermilk and eaten as bread with an entree, and that scones are sweet, very British, made with cream and eaten at breakfast.

    I am very confused so please educate me.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Eva: American biscuits are indeed eaten like a bread especially for breakfast or brunch. They can also be used as a topping for cobblers which are sweetened fruit baked with the biscuits on top as well as to top pot pies where a stew like filling is topped with the biscuit and they are baked together. Americans also sometimes use a sweetened version for a dessert called shortcakes where the biscuits are split, filled with a fruit filling and served with sweetened whipped cream. As you can see we use them for all parts of a meal. They do not have to have buttermilk, they can be made with cream, buttermilk, or milk. They originated in the South where they pride themselves in how light and fluffy they can make them.

      English scones as I understand them can be served for breakfast or tea with jams, preserves or lemon curd and clotted cream.

      English biscuits are what we call cookies in America.

      Hope this helps.

  5. Mari gold

    Can’t wait to try,my strawberries are still producing. Do you process the extra jars? And can this be doubled? Thank. You again an again.mari

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Mari – I envy you having your own strawberries. What a treat! I have never made this in an amount large enough to process. But certainly you could. I usually just leave mine in the fridge. As to doubling, I have never tried it. What a treat as a gift!

  6. manisha

    :) Nice recipe Helen…..

    I make scones in a similar way. Thanx for simplifying recipes for us.

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