It's summer. It's beautiful outside. With bright, summery days, I start wanting to cook differently.
No more big, baked casseroles. I'll pass on pizzas. My apartment doesn't have central air, so it's getting too warm to heat up my apartment for as long as my pizza stone requires.
Instead, I'm craving those light summery salads. Fresh vegetables. Stove-top cooking. Raw foods.
These biscuits don't really fit with that. I know. They're filled with heavy cream. I had to turn on the oven to make them, even if it was only for 30 minutes or so.
But they taste summery, I promise. They're stuffed with fresh-picked, local strawberries, so much so that you end up with a strawberry in pretty much every bite. Through the cooking process, the strawberries really release their sugars and almost start to resemble jam.
Mint lingers behind the strawberries. I infused it into the cream, heating heavy cream and allowing mint leaves to infuse their flavors in it for about an hour.
There's no green coloring. No worries. That's only for the fake mint you can get at the store.
These biscuits LOOK like strawberries and cream biscuits, but they've got a light taste of mint hiding in the background. With each bite, the mint lingers behind a bit. It's subtle, but it's definitely there.
And who doesn't love strawberries and mint together?
I made these biscuits just for me, with no occasion in mind and no company. I made two fresh, and I froze the rest. I'll bake them up straight from frozen, adding just a minute or two on to the cooking time.
I've got weeks of fresh-baked biscuits ahead of me.
Mint-Infused Strawberry Biscuits
recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Making the mint-infused cream requires you to start the night before or at least five hours in advance of assembling the biscuits. This recipe yields 9 to 10 biscuits.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons frozen, unsalted butter
1 cup chopped, very ripe strawberries
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 bunch mint leaves, washed and dried
Prepare the infused cream: In a small saucepan, heat heavy cream over low heat until the cream just begins to release steam. Remove from the heat, and add the washed, dried mint leaves. Stir gently. Allow the mint leaves to infuse into the cream for one hour.
Strain the cream and mint mixture using a fine mesh strainer. Press on the back of the mint leaves with a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.
Place the infused cream in the fridge and cool for at least 5 hours, or overnight.
Prepare the biscuits: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a box cheese grater, grate the frozen butter into the flour mixture and mix well.
Stir in the chopped strawberries gently, covering them in the flour mixture. Add the mint-infused cream, and fold the ingredients together gently using a rubber spatula. Fold until the ingredients are just combined.
Knead the ingredients together one or two times, and then transfer the mixture to a well-floured surface. Flour the top of the dough, and then pat or roll the dough out until it is about 3/4-inch tall.
Cut rounds out of the dough to your desired size (mine were about 2 1/2 inches), using a biscuit cutter or the bottom of a drinking glass.
Transfer the rounds to a parchment-lined baking pan if you plan to bake them immediately. Or transfer the rounds to a baking pan and place them in the freezer to save for later. These are best the day of, so you should make as many as you plan to eat that day.
Bake the rounds for 11 to 15 minutes, until the sides and bottom are just golden. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for about a minute, and then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
When baking frozen biscuits, there is no need to defrost them. You can cook them from frozen. Just add two or three minutes to the baking time.