Sage Brunch Biscuits with Strawberries, Bacon and Honey Crème Fraiche
Overnight, my little garden has come back to life. The strawberries, oranges and mint I expected, but the sage, tarragon and chives sprung up unannounced, bursting into bloom after a long winter’s nap.
After a month of travelling – and 50 hours in the air! – I could not have been happier to have a leisurely day in my own kitchen. I wanted to use the bright purple sage flowers, which are apparently edible (who knew). But most sage recipes I found were geared towards fall, so I re-created a brunch biscuit I tasted last spring on a vineyard in Maine.
It’s an awesome mix of savory and sweet. First you take a buttermilk sage biscuit, all warm and crumbly. Then comes strawberry jam, crispy bacon and a fresh strawberry. Bake until golden and top with a dollop of honey crème fraische. I ate three hot out of the oven before I even took out the camera.
The topping sounds fancy but is super simple – add a squeeze of honey to the crème fraische, which is a milder version of sour cream. Out of curiosity, I bought a bottle of sage honey, to see what those bees were making with my flowers. It was tasty, but totally not essential. All I really needed to make this meal perfect was a strawberry Pimm’s cup cocktail and bare feet on my back deck in the spring sunshine.
1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
10 ripe strawberries, halved
3 tablespoons strawberry preserves
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk plus additional for brushing
8 oz. crème fraiche (or sour cream)
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Whisk together flour, sage, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingers or a food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in buttermilk, stirring until a dough forms. Gather dough into a ball and gently knead on a lightly floured surface 8 times. Pat or roll dough until 1/2 inch thick and cut into 2 inch rounds.
Arrange biscuits about 1 inch apart on a greased baking sheet and brush tops with additional buttermilk. With the back of a spoon or your thumb, press indents into each biscuit, leaving a rim around the outside. Place about 1/2 tsp. of jam in each, and some bacon crumbles. Place strawberry half on top, and press down firmly.
Bake in middle of oven until golden brown and biscuits are cooked through, about 7-10 minutes. Mix crème fraiche with honey until slightly sweet, to taste. Serve warm, topped with crème fraiche mixture and garnished with edible flowers.