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Caramel Apple and Pear Butter with Homemade Biscuits

I have an confession to make: ” This Yankee can’t make biscuits!” For the past couple of weeks, I have been searching for the best biscuit recipe. I know, I’m a chef and have lived in the south for 20 some odd years and I don’t know how to make biscuits. I was looking for the southern type of biscuits, you know the ones that are so good you have to have more than one!

I found that most biscuit recipes have more than three ingredients: flour, shortening, buttermilk, salt, and baking powder. After several test runs with these ingredients, I found the biscuits to be a bit on the heavy side and tough to the bite. I was looking for an old-fashioned biscuit recipe…

What I do know. Biscuits are leavened by the shortening. The shortening should be cut into the flour with a dough cutter and left in large pieces so there are layers of flour and shortening. When the shortening heats up, it creates steam and rises between the flour. Great biscuits do not have a leavening ingredient such as baking powder, and the shortening acts as the leavening agent. I love butter with my biscuits and used butter instead of shortening, but found that butter has a lower melting point, which made the biscuits not rise as much as they did with the shortening!

So I searched and tested recipes for weeks until I finally got smart and went to the White Lilly website, and looked at their recipe and video.  What a perfect recipe! Only three ingredients: White Lilly Self Rising Flour, shortening, and buttermilk. A very basic recipe but the only ingredients that you need. The only change that I made was using half the shortening and half the unsalted butter that the recipe called for.

When cutting out the biscuits with a cookie cutter, try not to twist the cutter, but rather press the cutter down and then shake it side to side.

I first made the caramel apple butter by peeling and coring 2 Granny Smith apples and 2 Bosc Pears, then cutting them into small pieces . I placed them in a small sauce pan and added 2 tablespoons of butter, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and a pinch of grated nutmeg, then simmered them over medium heat until the juices began to release.

I took another small sauce pan and caramelized about a 3/4 cup of sugar. Then I added the apple pear mixture and simmered it until it was very thick or about 10-15 minutes on low to medium heat.

I cooled the apple mixture on a plate until it was room temperature, then pureed the mixture in a blender. In order to insure the mixture was light and fluffy, I whipped a half pound of soft, room temperature butter in a mixing bowl with a whip until fluffy, and then added the cooled apple pear mixture. The  caramel apple butter should be kept in a jar, covered and refrigerated.

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