Light, flaky and not too sweet, these homemade buttermilk biscuits are TO DIE FOR spread with creamy mascarpone cheese, strawberry jam and topped with fresh berries.
Buttery, crumbly and very lightly sweet, buttermilk biscuits occupy a comfortable culinary middle ground between a pastry and a simple quick bread.
I’m not sure if a batch of these flaky buttermilk qualifies as dessert, but that’s how I treat them!
Biscuits or scones?
In the U.S., the best biscuits (or scones) are often the perfect go-with for coffee at the start of the day.
And the Brits traditionally don’t eat them for breakfast — instead, scones are the star of their very own course called “tea.”
No matter when they’re served, we can all agree that warm buttermilk biscuits are definitely a very civilized snack, and they happily go with tasty things like fruit jam, berries and cream.
What I love about these easy to make biscuits is how insanely good they are in a delicious combo of strawberries and creamy mascarpone.
Mascarpone with biscuits
Mascarpone is actually a perfect sub for clotted cream, which isn’t always an easy ingredient to track down outside of the U.K.
Much like clotted cream though, mascarpone shares its rich, thick texture.
It tastes like pure sweet cream and it’s easy to spread. But I’ve spread these flaky beauties with cream cheese or softened sweet butter and they are TO DIE FOR.
Making a cute little sandwich is easy: Split the biscuits in half lenghtwise and give them a good schmear of mascarpone or cream cheese.
Top with sliced strawberries and this fantastic roasted strawberry jam or one of your favorite fruit spreads and you have something like a deconstructed cheese cake.
What’s the difference between scones and biscuits?
There’s a lot of passionate discussion about what makes the best flaky biscuit recipe.
Especially when comparing American-style scones to traditional British/Irish ones.
Not to mention the minute details involved in the baked goods we call scones and biscuits.
It all depends on a few slight differences:
- The amount of fat-to-flour
- The type of fat (butter, cream, lard or buttermilk)
- How they’re cut and shaped (wedges, squares or circles).
This recipe is decidedly on the American end of the spectrum, producing biscuits that are puffed, tender and buttery inside, but not too sweet.
Tip for cutting biscuits
A sturdy round biscuit cutter comes in handy to make these, but in a pinch you can use an overturned glass or ramekin instead.
Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits with Strawberries and Cream
Yield: 12-14 scones
- ½ (120 g) sticks, 6 ounces unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 2 ¾ cups (370 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅓ cup + 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup (175 ml) buttermilk, full-fat preferred
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- ½ pound (225 g) strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 4 ounces (112 g) mascarpone cheese
- [Roasted Strawberry Refrigerator Jam] or your favorite fruit jam
- About 30 minutes before making the scones, put the butter in a bowl and place in the freezer. Preheat the oven to 400 (200C) degrees with the racks arranged in the center.
- Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ⅓ cup of the sugar in a food processor work bowl or bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle. Pulse the dry ingredients or mix on low until incorporated.
- Add the butter and pulse a few times until the mixture is pale yellow and the texture of fine meal. If using a standing mixer, mix on low speed until the mixture looks right, which will take a few minutes.
- Add the vanilla and buttermilk and pulse/mix just until a dough forms - don't overdo it or the dough will toughen.
- Dump the mixture onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead the dough together to form a ball, then pat it into a circle slightly thicker than 1/2-inch. Cut out circles as close together as possible and arrange 1-inch apart on the baking sheets. Gather the scraps, gently patting and pressing together and cut out the remaining dough.
- Brush the tops of the scones with the egg white, then sprinkle lightly with the remaining teaspoon sugar.
- Bake about 15 minutes, until the scones are lightly browned. Serve warm, split in half and spread with mascarpone cheese, jam, and some strawberries.
- The scones can be made ahead and frozen. Mix the dough, cut them out and freeze on trays until frozen, then transfer to a freezer storage container. When ready to bake, pull them out of the freezer and follow baking directions.
- You'll need 3-inch round cutters.
- The scones are best warm and freshly made, but will keep for a day or two in a zipped plastic bag. Rewarm slightly in a toaster before serving.