June 3, 2018

White Lily Buttermilk Biscuits with Strawberry Rerigerator Jam

Last month I found myself in Florida with the primary purpose of going to Universal Orlando.  I'm a Harry Potter fan and had been wanting to check out the two HP themed attractions there.  I was especially excited about Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride since the California location didn't have it.  You would think that as an enthusiast I would have brought back a wand or similar as a memento, right?  Wrong!

What was my Floridian souvenir you may ask?  Flour!  Yes, way, flour.  More specifically, White Lily flour.  [Don't be too surprised though, I am a baker after all.]  I'd heard a lot about how amazing White Lily flour was, especially for biscuits, but unfortunately it's accessibility was mainly limited to the South.  [Yes, I know you can find it online, but I'm too cheap to pay shipping fees for flour!]   

During some down time in Orlando I made a beeline to the closest supermarket I could find which happened to be Publix.  Call me strange, but checking out local grocery stores is one of my favorite things to do whenever I travel.  The store was your typical market, but as I was strolling the baking aisle I suddenly remembered about the White Lily flour.  I can't tell you excited I was to see it on the shelf!  I promptly bought four 5 lb bags to bring back to San Francisco with me.  Three of the bags were self-rising flour and the remaining one was all-purpose.  Luckily I managed to fit this haul in to my carry on suitcase.

I finally got around to making the buttermilk biscuits today and I have to say I am blown away by how light, fluffy and utterly delicious they are.  All the hype around White Lily flour is most well deserved in my opinion.  Who would have thought that just three ingredients (self-rising flour, shortening and buttermilk) could create something so delicious?  I give it the highest compliment I know by saying they are just as good, or even better, than KFC's buttermilk biscuits, which until now were my benchmark.

To accompany the biscuits I made a quick strawberry refrigerator jam using a recipe from Cook's Illustrated and local organic strawberries I bought at the farmer's market.  The jam is super easy to make and tastes fantastic with the buttermilk biscuits.  Pure heaven I tell you!

White Lily Buttermilk Biscuits

Makes about 9 biscuits

2 cups White Lily Enriched-Bleached Self-Rising Flour
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup buttermilk

Heat oven to 475 degrees.

Place flour in large bowl. Cut in shortening with pastry blender or two knives until crumbs are the size of peas. Add buttermilk, stirring with fork just until flour is moistened.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead gently 5 to 6 times, just until smooth. Roll dough into a 7-inch circle that is 3/4- to 1-inch thick. Cut out 7 to 8 biscuits using a floured 2-inch biscuit cutter. Place on baking sheet, about 1-inch apart. (For softer biscuits, arrange so that edges almost touch.) Shape dough scraps into a ball. Pat out until 3/4-inch thick. Cut out additional biscuits.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven.

Strawberry Refrigerator Jam 

Makes about 2 cups

1 1/2 lbs strawberries, hulled and cut in to 1/2 inch pieces (about 3 cups)
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Place metal spoon in freezer to chill. Combine strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in large saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium. Mash fruit with potato masher until fruit is mostly broken down. Simmer vigorously until fruit mixture thickens and spatula leaves trail that does not fill in immediately, 15 to 25 minutes.

To test for proper thickness, remove saucepan from heat. Dip chilled spoon into jam and allow jam to run off spoon; jam should slowly fall off spoon in one thickened clump. If jam is runny, return to medium heat and simmer for 2 to 4 minutes before retesting. Transfer jam to jar and let cool completely. Cover with tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.


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