I’ve always said everyone should be able to make biscuits from scratch. This is particularly true during berry season, when blueberries, then strawberries and raspberries come into their own, and shortcakes or split biscuits make perfect vehicles for them, slathered with cream. Of course a biscuit on its own, with or without berries, is a fine thing any time of day. Once you’ve mastered the basic technique (which isn’t at all complicated), you can dress them up however you like – with lemon or orange zest, berries, dried fruit and nuts or chocolate chunks. They’re just as wonderful plain, served warm with jam.
Although these biscuits sound rich (on account of the cream) they aren’t really over the top (on account of containing no butter) – they are as simple as biscuits get, with no need to cut in the fat before adding the liquid. Perfect for beginners – or those who believe they are unable to make biscuits from scratch. They’ll rise to dramatic heights, impressing everyone you feed them to – just make sure your baking powder is fresh.
Lemon Cream Biscuits
grated zest of a lemon
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour¨
2 Tbsp. sugar¨
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder¨
1/4 tsp. salt¨
extra cream or milk, for brushing (optional)¨
coarse sugar, for sprinkling (optional
Preheat the oven to 400F. Stir the lemon zest into the cream; set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the cream and stir just until the dough comes together. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough a few times, then pat into a circle about an inch thick.
Cut into wedges and transfer onto a parchment-lined baking sheet; if you like, brush the tops with milk or extra cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden. Serve warm.
Makes 6-8 biscuits.