If you’re like me and love PBS for so many reasons already, let me add one more to the list. In addition to being able to educate you on any topic under the sun, they also have recipes! I’ve made this biscuit recipe a few times already, and it’s always fast, fun, and delicious. The original recipe calls for delicata squash, but since I’ve never been able to find any here in Seoul I’ve made it with butternut squash, and, in this case, avocado.
You could put anything you like in these biscuits, really, since the recipe calls for a puree – roasted bell pepper, caramelized onions, cheese, you name it. The biscuits always turn out beautiful thanks to the herb leaves you press on top before baking – this time I used sage, but in the past I’ve also used basil just as successfully. The most important thing is to keep all the ingredients chilled and handle the dough as little as possible…manage that and you’ve got a reliable crowd pleaser!
This time around I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter that I’ve had lying around unused for months in a drawer, but in the past I’ve always just cut them by hand. The recipe made 14 good-sized biscuits, but if you’ve cooking for a group or event you can easily make several times that many little bite-sized morsels.
- 1 small avocado (about 1/2 cup purée)
- 2 cups unbleached white flour
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 6 Tbsp. salted light (half-fat) butter, chilled
- 1 small bunch of fresh sage (1 1/2 tsp. chopped and 14 whole leaves for garnish)
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- For the egg wash:
- 1 small egg
- 1 Tbsp. milk
- Mash the avocado by hand with a fork, or if you prefer, purée it in a food processor or with a hand blender until smooth. Measure out 1/2 cup of purée and chill it in the fridge.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Using a box grater, grate the cold butter into the flour mixture. Place this mixture in the freezer while you prepare the wet ingredients (about 5 to 10 minutes).
- In another bowl, mix the chilled cream, avocado purée, and finely chopped sage. Whisk together until smooth. In another, smaller bowl, make the egg wash by beating the egg and 1 Tbsp. of milk together.
- Remove the dry ingredients from the freezer. With a pastry cutter or your hands, make sure the grated butter is fully incorporated into the flour (it should look like bread crumbs). Gently add the avocado and cream mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring just until the dough starts to come together. Using your hands, lightly knead the dough in the bowl until uniform, but avoiding over handling it.
- Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour and either roll or simply press the dough out to 3/4 inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter or a wet knife, cut out the biscuits. Brush the tops with egg wash and gently press a whole sage leaf on top of each biscuit. Place on a lightly buttered baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in a 400F oven, until golden on top. Transfer the biscuits to a cooling rack and serve warm.