Basic Homemade Biscuits

Basic homemade biscuits cooling off on cookie rack. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Basic homemade biscuits cooling off on cookie rack. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Basic Homemade Biscuits

This is one of those must have basic recipes that takes less than 5 minutes to make and, once baked, can be frozen for later use.

I like these in winter but I keep a supply handy in the freezer all year for visitors who want to share a cup of tea with really fresh honey and strawberry jam.

Basic Homemade Biscuit Recipe

Sift together:

2 cups all purpose flour

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

Add 1/4 cup shortening and use two knives to cut it into small pieces.

Add 3/4 cup milk.

Mix gently, then roll out onto floured board. Cut into 3/4” biscuits.

Bake at 400F for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.

Allow to cool on cookie rack.

To freeze, I place the biscuits on cookie rack in freezer. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

To freeze, I place the biscuits on cookie rack in freezer. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Place cookie rack in freezer to individually freeze biscuits. Store in freezer bag.

To defrost, place in microwave for 30 seconds or allow to defrost at room temperature.

You can turn these biscuits into breakfast if you like gravy, or make your own breakfast sandwich with an omelet or scrambled eggs.

Or so I hear. I haven’t moved past adding honey from my apiary or strawberry jam from our local farmer’s market.

These basic recipes are the foundation of cooking. You will find others in our American Cooking Illustrated Encyclopaedia.

Maybe I will get adventurous this winter.

Charlotte


Baked Pears in Honey Recipe

Ripe bartlett pears from my garden ready to bake after I drizzle fresh honey over them.

Ripe bartlett pears from my garden ready to bake after I drizzle fresh honey over them.

Baked Pears in Honey Recipe

The first batch of freshly picked Bartlett pears have safely arrived at their destination and have been rated “yumm” by one of my brothers. It has become an annual family tradition when I have fresh Bartlett pears to share. After seasoning them to start ripening, I carefully wrap each one in newspaper and bubble wrap and ship them off, timing them to arrive with at least a couple of them ripe enough to eat right out of the box. I know my brothers, they aren’t going to wait to have them cooked.

These are not just any Bartlett pears. These are pears not from a farm but from the semi-dwarf pear tree I planted by my driveway in 1983. I completely forgot I even had the tree until 2010, when the first crop of pears covered my driveway. Wasps had pollinated the tree that spring. That was also the year I added two bee hives to my garden, which looking back now appears redundant. Between the bees and wasps, the Stark Brothers pear tree has provided varying crops of pears every year. In 2012, the year of a drought, it was just one but it was quite a large pear. Now I know to pinch off some of the flowers to encourage yearly fruiting.

The squirrels in my garden have developed a taste for pears so it’s a race between who will get more pears by the time they are ready to pick. Squirrels, I have learned, don’t mind eating very green pears so they have a head start on the count. By the time the fruit was ready to pick this year, I used a light bulb changer and removed every single remaining fruit. They are now sitting in baskets in my cold utility room to get the ripening process started. Pears ripen from the inside, not on the tree.

This year, I also added a small container of honey to the pear packages so my brothers and their families could enjoy baked pears in honey. The recipe is easy and delicious.

Here are the instructions that went with the pears, including the recipe:

Bluebird Gardens Bartlett Pears 2017

These pears have survived daily squirrel assaults to be a treat on your table.

After getting picked, they were seasoned in 60F temperature for a week to start the ripening process. Pears ripen from the inside.

Once you receive yours, place a couple in the enclosed brown bag with an apple so the apple ethylene gases will complete the ripening. A pear is ripe when you gently press the top with a thumb and find it soft to the touch.

Bartlett pears with honey baked, cooled and ready to taste. 

Bartlett pears with honey baked, cooled and ready to taste. 

Baked Pears with Honey Recipe

Cut the pears in half and place on a baking sheet (I cut a sliver off the other end so they sat upright).  Leave the skin on.

Using a measuring spoon or melon baller, scoop out the seeds.

Sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle 1/2 teaspoon honey over each one. You can also add walnuts in the scooped out center.

Bake in the oven 30 minutes.  Enjoy!

Charlotte

The Secret to Soft Chewy Cookies

The back of Nestle's Tollhouse Cookie Chips bag doesn't tell you this but, like even meals cooked at the White House, there is a secret to making soft, chewy cookies.

After mixing the cookie batter, place in the refrigerator overnight. The resting gives ingredients a chance to blend together.

When baked, your cookies will come out soft and chewy.

They really should add this to the recipe; it makes all the difference in the cooked cookie!

Charlotte