Buttermilk Biscuits & Maple Butter

19 May

If you’re a foodie, wherever you travel you want to try something new, unique or local. So when I went to NYC last week, I wanted to try something that hasn’t really been developed in Vancouver – the BBQ.

I mean we have great seafood, Japanese food (hey, Tojo invented the california roll!), the best Chinese food outside of Asia, and world renowned chefs here, but no authentic BBQ houses. I don’t mean steakhouses like Morton’s or Gotham, but BBQ in the southern US sense. And no, the Keg and Red Lobster don’t count.

So my friend took me to Virgil’s BBQ (the “original New York City barbecue restaurant”) in the heart of Times Square and I pigged out on BBQ nachos (nachos topped w/pulled pork, jalapenos, cheese, bbq sauce etc.), sliced Texas beef brisket, pulled pork, collard greens… and if I had more room and time I would have had cheese grits, potato salad, ribs, bbq chicken, cornbread ….

But what really blew my mind, was the homely Buttermilk Biscuits and Maple Butter. Didn’t look like much, but it was  plump, buttery and savoury… and the maple butter? Foodie orgasm.

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits 

Serves 10

  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, or in the bowl of a food processor.
  3. Cut the butter into chunks and cut into the flour until it resembles course meal.
  4. If using a food processor, just pulse a few times until this consistency is achieved.
  5. Add the buttermilk and mix JUST until combined.
  6. If it appears on the dry side, add a bit more buttermilk.
  7. Turn the dough out onto a floured board.
  8. Gently, gently PAT (do NOT roll with a rolling pin) the dough out until it’s about 1/2″ thick.
  9. Use a round cutter to cut into rounds.
  10. You can gently knead the scraps together and make a few more, but they will not be anywhere near as good as the first ones.
  11. Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet- if you like soft sides, put them touching each other.
  12. If you like”crusty” sides, put them about 1 inch apart- these will not rise as high as the biscuits put close together.
  13. Bake for about 10-12 minutes- the biscuits will be a beautiful light golden brown on top and bottom.
  14. Do not overbake.
  15. Note: The key to real biscuits is not in the ingredients, but in the handling of the dough.
  16. The dough must be handled as little as possible or you will have tough biscuits.
  17. I have found that a food processor produces superior biscuits, because the ingredients stay colder and there’s less chance of overmixing.
  18. You also must pat the dough out with your hands, lightly.
  19. Rolling with a rolling pin is a guaranteed way to overstimulate the gluten, resulting in a tougher biscuit.
  20. Note 2: You can make these biscuits, cut them, put them on cookie sheets and freeze them for up to a month.
  21. When you want fresh biscuits, simply place them frozen on the cookie sheet and bake at 450°F for about 20 minutes.

Hot & Spicy Maple Butter for Biscuits

 Serve on buttermilk biscuits alongside your favorite barbecue.


  1. Mix together butter, maple syrup and hot pepper sauce in bowl until well blended.
  2. Serve on buttermilk biscuits.

Virgil’s Cornbread

Yield: 10 Minis
1 1/2 c  Yellow cornmeal
1 2/3 c  Sifted flour
2/3 c  Sugar
1 1/2 ts Salt
1 tb Baking powder
1 ts Baking soda
8 tb Butter; melt
1 1/2 c  Buttermilk
1/2 c  Milk
2    Eggs; beat
Tabasco to taste
4 oz Warm corn kernels
3 oz Cheddar cheese; grate
1/4 c  Scallions; chop
2 tb Cilantro; chop
Pre-heat the oven to 425~. In a bowl combine the first 6 ingredients. In another bowl whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, milk, beaten eggs, and Tabasco to taste. Add the dry ingredients and stir to just combine. Then fold in the warm corn kernels, cheddar cheese, scallions and cilantro. Pour the mixture into buttered loaf pans 1-1/2×1-1/2×3 filling them 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes, or until bread is golden brown and a skewer inserted in center comes out clean.

2 Responses to “Buttermilk Biscuits & Maple Butter”

  1. Lesley May 19, 2010 at 3:39 PM #

    Have you tried Memphis Blues? They’re supposed to be the best BBQ place in BC.

    • nansie May 19, 2010 at 10:33 PM #

      No I haven’t! I will definitely – thanks for the recommendation. =)

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