I’ll admit I’m a political junkie. This is a dangerous topic, of course, and the current political climate in our country definitely resembles a stagnant, poisonous swamp filled with fear, misinformation, and an inability to entertain and tolerate differing opinions. F. Scott Fitzgerald once said “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” Our current government, from both sides of the aisle and any off-shoots currently in vogue, is unfortunately operating as a second-rate intelligence. This is a shame, and makes me fear for the future of our country.
Fortunately, politics don’t have to enter into recipes. Here is a delicious blending of red and blue berries—add some white and you end up with our patriotic colors, so it’s perfect for a Fourth of July celebration. If you have family members who use these types of social activities to spout off unpopular opinions, be sure to give them a big bowl of this dessert—red and blue, in harmony…partisan-free.
Berry Blue Butter Biscuits
- 2 lemons
- 2 pounds fresh strawberries
- 18 ounces fresh blueberries
- ¾ cup sugar, divided
- ½ teaspoon plus 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup cake flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup soft salted butter
- 1½ cups buttermilk, room temperature
- Additional all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons melted salted butter
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
Zest the lemons. Finely chop the peel and set aside. Juice the lemons, strain the juice, and measure out ¼ cup; set aside. Hull and slice the strawberries rather thickly. Place all the berries in a large bowl. Sprinkle with ¼ cup sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon and mix. Add the lemon juice and combine well. Let this stand; stir occasionally. If making this in advance, cover and chill.
Preheat oven to 450°. Coat a 13″ x 9″ glass baking pan with cooking spray. Combine the flours, ¼ cup sugar, baking powder, salt, remaining cinnamon, and reserved lemon peel in a large bowl. Add the butter and mix in with your hands until crumbly. Add the buttermilk and combine well. With floured hands, turn onto a floured surface and knead a few times. Pat dough out to about ¾” thick. Cut into 12 biscuits, 3″ in diameter, and place in pan in three rows of four each; they will touch in places. Use the remaining dough to fashion a final biscuit—it won’t be perfectly round, but that’s okay. Bake 15 minutes. Brush with the melted butter and sprinkle cinnamon sugar all over. Bake another 4-6 minutes. Remove and let stand for 5-10 minutes.
While biscuits are baking, whip the cream and remaining ¼ cup sugar in a large bowl until rather fluffy and firm. Chill. You can make this in advance—cover and chill for a few hours.
To assemble: split a biscuit and place bottom portion on a plate. Top with a generous ½ cup of fruit. Place the top on, then spoon a generous ¼ cup of cream on top. Serves 12. For leftovers, keep the biscuits covered at room temperature; keep the fruit and cream separately covered in the fridge.
The biscuits are great on their own; spread butter, jams, jellies, or honey all over them. Try different fruits, depending on what’s in season—peaches, nectarines, blackberries, raspberries—mix and match your flavors.
Now, if you’ve read this far and are wondering where I stand on political matters, I’ll be brave and tell you…I’m mostly a lefty, moonbatty, progressive liberal. But I’m conservative about it. If you decide to comment, please keep it civil…