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Almond Buttermilk Biscuits with Sour Cherry Compote, Butterscotch, and Candied Pickled Ginger

This dessert is entirely Dave’s creation. He calls it CBGB (cherries, biscuits, ginger, and butterscotch), but I just can’t bring myself to call it that, personally. I prefer recipe names that really warn you about what you’re getting yourself into. It’s a due process issue, as far as I’m concerned – when I skim through recipes, I expect fair notice just by looking at their titles.

Here’s what you’re getting yourself into: The light, soft buttermilk biscuit has just a touch of almond flavor to it, that comes out more with each bite. It is the sturdy base which supports the other components in this dish. The sour cherry compote just blazes with flavor, tart and sweet and intoxicatingly intense. The pickled ginger barely needs to be candied at all, but the added sugar adds a nice crunch to the already crisp ginger.

The pickled ginger and sour cherry flavors really sing together – those two are the key flavors in this dish, the ones that truly dazzle the senses. And the creamy buttermilk pulls everything together, finishing the job in perfect harmony.

Almond Buttermilk Biscuits with Sour Cherry Compote, Butterscotch, and Candied Pickled Ginger
For the almond buttermilk biscuits
250 g all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C (8 tbsp, or 1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 C buttermilk
1/2 tsp almond extract
For the sour cherry compote
600 g frozen pitted sour cherries
150 g sugar
For the butterscotch
3/4 C dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 C light corn syrup
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 C heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp xanthan gum or 7 g agar agar
For the candied pickled ginger
Pickled ginger

Make the almond buttermilk biscuits

Preheat your oven to 450 F.

In a food processor, process together all the dry ingredients. Cut the butter into chunks and add it. Pulse ten times or so. Add in the buttermilk and almond extract, then pulse six or so times, until a dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a floured countertop. Shape it into rough lump. Cut the dough into 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a sphere. Place them on a parchment paper covered baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes or so, or until golden brown on top.

Make the sour cherry compote

Cook the cherries and sugar together in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until most of the liquid is gone.

Make the butterscotch

In a small saucepan, simmer the sugar, corn syrup, butter, and cream of tartar together until it reaches 240 F, then immediately stir in the heavy cream and vanilla extract. To thicken it nicely, add either the xantham gum (for a more silky texture) or the agar agar (for a more slithery texture).

Make the candied pickled ginger

Roll the pickled ginger in sugar. Discard the now-damp sugar. Roll the pickled ginger in fresh sugar. Remove the ginger from the sugar, and slice it into thin slices.

Plate and serve.

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12 Responses to “Almond Buttermilk Biscuits with Sour Cherry Compote, Butterscotch, and Candied Pickled Ginger”

  1. linda says:

    Wow, what a dessert! Creative idea to candy pickled ginger…

  2. Lux says:

    I’ll have to try this!

  3. Faux Wood says:

    This is a perfect recipe for brunch! The ultimate comfort food on a cold fall morning…..great blog…Di

  4. bonnie says:

    that almost makes me willing to try pickled ginger again. almost.

  5. Katie says:

    Wonderful description! Next year I’m determined to pick all of our sour cherries…the birds leave them alone, but this year the tree was bare, anyway. Now I have something to do with them…

  6. Nabeela says:

    What a unique combination of flavors…and yet it seems to be working great together. Love the presentation!

  7. Mansi says:

    Wow, this looks really nice! a beautiful combination, and love the presentation:)
    I visited your blog for the first time..it was an enriching experience:) you have a nice collection here!


  8. brilynn says:

    That is a dish worthy of a very nice restaurant… although I imagine that most nights, dinner at your house is better than any restaurant.

  9. Dana says:

    Those biscuits look divine. I bet they were fab with the cherry compote.

  10. Dana says:

    Those biscuits look divine. I bet they were fab with the cherry compote.

  11. Nan says:

    Wow, there’s a lot going on there! If I feel brave enough, I might just give it a try.

  12. Annemarie says:

    Now that you’ve said it, pickled ginger and sour cherry seem like a very good combination indeed.

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October 2007
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