This past week has been CHILLY. Rain, cold wind, almost no sun. It felt like the heart of winter right on the cusp of spring.
I want spring to be here. Blossoms, sunshine, fresh flowers. The hills in the East Bay are green as Ireland during the spring (but brown the rest of the year). Everything just looks and smells so fresh; the sparse bleakness of winter becomes a distant memory.
These biscuits are my attempt at ushering in the spring. Light, bright and fragrant. Zesty lemon and earthy sage and thyme. A little butter, a little honey. A little plate of springtime.
One of the great things about living in the Bay Area is that our seasons run into each other. Winter is never too cold, summer never too hot. Because of this, produce that may only be available most parts of the country for a couple of months can be available here even longer. Shawn and I had a Meyer Lemon tree in our old backyard that bloomed all year round. My dad’s tomato garden sprouts from July to October most years. Huge varieties of produce available anytime you want them. It’s nice.
The lemon in these biscuits are fresh off of my mom’s backyard tree. Fresh herbs, buttermilk, a little sea salt and sugar. So good. Lemon just tastes like sunshine, doesn’t it? Really fresh lemon, so bright and juicy and puckeringly tart. It almost warms you up just to eat it. I always considered lemon and citrus in general to be a springtime treat more than winter. That sweet-sour deliciousness just pairs so perfectly with crocus and daffodils and cherry blossoms. I think citrus should rethink it’s seasonal availability
What is your favorite springtime flavor? THG
Lemon Herb Biscuits
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) very cold unsalted butter, 1/2” cubes
2 Tbsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, finely minced
1 Tbsp. fresh sage, finely minced
1 cup cold buttermilk, plus more for brushing
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Butter a large cast iron skillet.
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and sugar. With a pastry cutter, cut in cold butter cubes. Mix well until the mixture resembles small pebbles. Add in lemon zest and herbs; mix to combine. Create a well in the middle of mixture. Pour in buttermilk and mix to combine into a ball of dough.
Dump on a well-floured surface. Roll out to 1/2” thick rectangle. Using a floured 3” biscuit cutter, cut out biscuits and fit snuggly into the cast iron skillet. Brush the tops of the biscuits with the remaining buttermilk. Bake in the middle of oven until golden brown on top, about 30-35 minutes.
Makes 8-10 biscuits