Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rich Tea Biscuits

One of my oldest, beloved, most used cookbooks is called Muffins &More, it's a Company's Coming cookbook by Jean Pare, the third in her very large series.  Jean Pare is from Alberta, a real prairie success story.  The page that this recipe is on is dog eared, stained and parts of it got stuck together.  That's how good this recipe is.  I can always tell if a recipe is good by how trashed the page is.  I'm hard on my recipe books.

I use this recipe regularily, actually I have it memorized by now.  I use it for tea biscuits to go with soup or chili, and as a topping for chicken pot pie and other meat pies.  It's delicious.  De-li-cious. 

Here goes:

Rich Tea Biscuits

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp. white sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 cup cold butter or margarine
1 cup cold milk

Put first five ingredients into bowl.  Stir thoroughly.

Cut in butter until crumbly.

Pour in milk.  Stir quickly to combine.  Dough should be soft.  Turn out on lightly floured surface.  Knead gently 8-10 times.  Roll or pat 1/2 to 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick or half the thickness you want the baked product to be.  Cut with small round cookie cutter.  Place on greased cookie sheet close together for soft sides or apart for crisp sides.  Bake in 450 degree F oven for 12-15 minutes.  Brushing biscuits with milk before baking will produce a pretty brown top.  Makes 10.

My own little changes are #1, I grate frozen butter into the flour mixture and then toss.  This is quick and easy.  #2, I always forget to buy cream of tartar, and so I never put it in.  It doesn't seem to make any difference.  #3, I also use different sized and shaped cookie cutters - square ones and round ones.  4)  When covering a meat pie, I roll out the dough rather thin, cut some slashes in it to let steam out, place the pan over it and cut off the excess.  Then I roll the dough back over the rolling pin and roll it out over the casserole.  I usually bake it for 15 minutes at 450 degrees F. 

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