Sunday, June 19, 2011

Improv Recipe: Strawberry Rhubarb Biscuits

I spent a lot of yesterday in the kitchen, working on various improvised recipes. For breakfast I made strawberry rhubarb biscuits (using goat's milk instead of buttermilk) with a strawberry rhubarb honey compote. The biscuits weren't terribly sweet, which allowed the compote to really stand up to the hearty flavor of the wheat in the biscuit. I started with a basic biscuit recipe and altered it to accommodate my needs. The compote was almost an accident when I realized I'd sliced too many strawberries and didn't want to waste them!

If you have strawberries that are just at that point where you're not sure you're going to be able to use them before they go bad, this is a great recipe. These babies were bruised and abused before being turned into a fantastic breakfast!


  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh rhubarb, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup whole wheat flower
  • 1 cup whole wheat bread or pastry flour - something finer grained
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 Tbsp baking soda
  • 6 Tbsp cold butter
  • 2/3 cup goat milk (could substitute buttermilk, whole cow milk, etc)

Before doing anything else, toss 1/2 cup of your sliced strawberries with 1 Tbsp of brown sugar. Then spread them on a cookie sheet in a single layer and pop them in the freezer. Adding frozen berries to your biscuit dough will keep the batter from getting overly tacky as you mix it.

Next, combine all of your remaining dry ingredients and sift together. I used a food processor for this recipe and it was amazingly fast and easy to make. After sifting add your cold butter, one tablespoon at a time and pulsing between tablespoons, to the food processor. If you're doing this by hand, you should use a pastry cutter to chop the butter into itty bitty bits before adding it to your dry mix. The goal is to get a consistency similar to course cornmeal once the butter is mixed thoroughly in.

Now it's time to add your milk. Do this bit by bit, only adding enough milk to slightly moisten the whole mix. If you add too much milk you'll end up with very sticky, hard-to-handle dough - especially once the strawberries begin to thaw.

When your dough is moistened and clumping, add your rhubarb. I ran the food processor just a bit extra after adding the rhubarb because I prefer not to ahve big chunks of rhubarb in my biscuits. If you prefer big chunks, by all means leave them that way! Same goes with the strawberries. Add those next.

Run the processor until your strawberries and rhubarb have the consistency you prefer.

Now if you're not able to cut your biscuits quickly after you finish mixing the dough I suggest you refrigerate it until you do. This dough can be very tacky and as the strawberries thaw it becomes increasingly so.

When you're ready to bake your biscuits, have your oven pre-heated to around 450º F. Knead the dough until it's smooth-ish and pat down (or I suppose you could roll it with a non-stick rolling pin) until it's around 3/4 inch thick. Use a 2" biscuit cutter to cut 16 biscuits and place them on parchment paper. This recipe has enough butter that if you like a thick crust on the bottoms of your biscuits you probably don't need the parchment paper; I didn't use it.

Bake for 12-18 minutes, checking them around 10 minutes to make sure they're not baking too quickly. I've found that with recipes that use high heat and short baking time it's very easy to over bake things.

While they're baking, make your compote!


  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cup rhubarb sliced
  • 3 Tbsp Honey

Combine the three ingredients in an oven-safe pan (I used a shallow ceramic crock) and pop it in the oven (at 450º) alongside your biscuits as they bake. I left it in for around 10-15 minutes so if you time this correctly you can be moving your biscuits to a cooling rack while your compote finishes up.

All that's left now is to drizzle compote over your biscuits, eat and enjoy! This recipe isn't terribly sweet, so I've been eating it as a breakfast food, but if you up the sugar/honey just a bit you'll be able to enjoy this with fresh clotted cream or sweetened whipped cream as a strawberry rhubarb shortcake!

What are some new ways you're enjoying this year's strawberry harvest?


  1. I really wish we could grow rhubarb here, this looks wonderful to me.

  2. This looks great! I wish I would have read this before I finished freezing and making jam out of all our berries. I guess we will have to go get more...

  3. Yum! That will go so well with the wine I just bought!
    I'll definitely try this recipe out!

  4. Just came over here from "Food in Jars". I think I will enjoy catching up on your blog. My daughter, Brighid, is thrilled to see her name attached to a cute and spunky lamb!

  5. Hi there, I'm another 'Food in Jars' reader. Congratulations on your Cutco Santoku win!

    Those biscuits look so delicious! I'll be giving them a try over the weekend. :)

    Best wishes,