Now that you’ve made your homemade crème fraiche and slathered it on fresh berries, stirred it into French sauces or spooned it alongside your favorite Polish food, you probably have about a half a jar leftover that you don’t want to spoil. I happen to have half a refrigerator full of it, but that’s my problem. Let’s say you’ve got about one cup to deal with in your ongoing quest to keep close tabs on the perishable items in your fridge before they go to waste. This is a cause close to my heart, and if I can savage one or two of them, it’s been a good week.
One cup of crème fraiche, you have, and this is what you’re going to do with it–make biscuits.
The beauty of biscuits is that you can make them with different types of liquids. Flour and butter are non-negotiable, but if you don’t have buttermilk, you can use cream. Or if you’re on a diet, you can use low-fat buttermilk. Or if you have a half cup at the bottom of each container, and you’re dying to throw both of them out to make room for more champagne, you can use a little of both in your biscuits. And finally, if you have half a pint of homemade crème fraiche languishing on the fridge door, go right ahead and use that in place of cream or buttermilk.
Crème fraiche will make your biscuits super-buttery, which is what I’m going for with pretty much everything I bake. If you have a remarkable palate, you may be able to detect a slight tartness to the biscuit, but it won’t be the same as using straight buttermilk. But I’ll take butter over tart any day.
I added a bit of orange zest to the biscuit recipe, which is highly uncharacteristic of me. I’m not a big orange fan, but I thought it would be a nice base for the strawberry sauce. Now, the strawberry sauce. In case there wasn’t enough butter and cream in the biscuit, I added a bit to the strawberry sauce, just for kicks. Honestly, what ingredient on Earth doesn’t become a better version of itself with a little brown butter? That is today’s question to the universe.
This turned out to be a lovely mid-spring combo that can pass for a gloriously fruity breakfast item, or add a scoop of ice cream and make it dessert. If it’s before 10 a.m., it’s probably still breakfast, but we won’t tell anyone.
Orange Crème Fraiche Biscuits (Serves 8 friends)
Adapted from Food.com
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 T. baking powder
- 1/4 t. baking soda
- 3/4 t. salt
- 2 T. sugar
- 1 t. orange zest
- 6 T. (3 oz.) unsalted butter, very cold
- 1 c. crème fraiche
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the butter into 1/2 inch pieces and put in the freezer while you’re mixing the dry ingredients.
- Mix all the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
- Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter, forks or your fingers. The mixture should start to resemble course meal.
- Add the crème fraiche and stir until combined. The dough won’t come together perfectly, but that’s ok.
- Flip the dough out onto a floured surface and gently gather it into one piece. Fold it over 2 or 3 times to make it more uniform, but don’t work it too hard.
- Cut the dough into 8 pieces. You can shape it into a square and make an X from corner to corner and then a + from side to side. Or just cut it once down the middle in one direction and 3 times perpendicularly to make 8 pieces. There are no rules here.
- Arrange the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and dry. If the tops don’t seem done after 12 minutes, you may want to move the tray to a higher rack to avoid burning the bottoms.
- Cool on a wire rack.
Strawberry Brown Butter Sauce (Serves 8 friends)
- 4 T. (2 oz.) unsalted butter
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- 1 lb. strawberries, sliced
- 2 T. honey, or more if desired
- Split and scrape the vanilla bean and put it in a medium saute pan with the butter. Heat the butter and vanilla bean over medium heat until the butter starts to brown and smell nutty.
- Add the strawberries and honey and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the strawberries release their juices but are still intact and not mushy.
- The sauce is best served immediately over the biscuits, but it also taste just fine when reheated.