Cream biscuits are melt-in-your-mouth delicious on their own for breakfast, served with fried chicken, and savory stews, for desserts baked in a cobbler with juicy fruit, or in the classic strawberry shortcake.
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Stir together in a large bowl:
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
4 tsp sugar (optional)
2 tsp baking powder
6 tbls cold butter cut into small pieces
Cut the butter into the flour with your fingers or a pastry blender until they are the size of small peas.
¾ cups heavy cream
Remove 1 tablespoon and set aside. Lightly stir in the remainder of the cream with a fork until the mixture just comes together. Without overworking it, lightly knead the dough a couple of times in the bowl, turn it out onto a lightly floured board, and roll out about ¾ inch thick. Cut into eight 1 ½ inch circles or squares. Reroll the scraps if necessary.
Place the biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and lightly brush the tops with the reserved tablespoon of cream. Bake for 17 minutes or until cooked through and golden.
Courtesy The Art of Simple Food, by Alice Waters, Clarkson-Potter Publishers, 2007