I grew up in the deep south. I haven’t lived there for years, but there are some things that time doesn’t change. I still love the smell of sweet magnolias. I still bristle a little when I hear about hurricanes in the gulf. I still love a good biscuit.
Growing up I never really thought much about my identity as a southerner. It wasn’t something that I ever used to define myself. It was almost taken for granted. I was born and raised in coastal Mississippi, sure, but I never felt very connected to any particularly southern way of life. I didn’t go to Friday night football games (or any football games for that matter), my family didn’t go hunting, and I didn’t join cotillion. I just didn’t think about being southern.
When I moved away from Mississippi, I began to sense my connection to my coastal southern upbringing, and it was no surprise that it cropped up through my love of food. I had the abrupt realization that other people hadn’t grown up with the same set of comfort and special occasion foods that I had. They hadn’t had red beans and rice on Christmas Eve or enjoyed shrimp boils every summer, or even eaten grits on the regular (gasp). I had never thought about it as anything special because it was really all I knew. I began to appreciate my own food culture and recognize it when I craved pickled okra, gumbo, and perfect watermelon. And I really missed good biscuits. (Sorry British friends, these biscuits are neither your biscuits nor scones. Trust me, you’ll love them. Just ditch the clotted cream and jam for salty butter.)
Sometimes I just need a biscuit, all warm and buttery and fresh from the oven. And sometimes I need a biscuit quick, fast, and in a hurry. Like on a Saturday morning when I can’t be bothered with the folding and the biscuit cutting, and I just want a warm biscuit now.
If a recipe for the quickest of quick biscuits with amazing buttery flavor and fluffy texture sounds right up your alley, my friend, these drop biscuits are for you.
These maple pepper drop biscuits are buttery and tender. They’re made with buttermilk and a hearty dose of butter, of course, but the add-ins are what make these really shine a little something extra. The maple syrup is perfect for transitioning into fall. It’s slight sweetness is balanced with a heft dose of freshly ground black pepper. And maybe the best part– mix together and scoop right from the bowl onto the baking sheet. Et voilà, biscuits.
Food will always anchor me to my southern roots. Wherever I live, I pick up new cuisines along the way, but southern food always finds its way onto the menu. I’ll always hunt down okra, however scarce it may be in the place I live. I’ll never stop feeding my friends red beans and rice. And there will most certainly, always, be biscuits.
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Maple Pepper Drop Biscuits
These Maple Pepper Drop Biscuits are the perfect biscuit for cruising into fall. There buttery and tender and maple syrup is slightly sweet, balanced by a hefty dose of black pepper. Best of all you can throw them together and have fresh hot biscuits straight from the oven in under thirty minutes!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoons pepper, freshly ground, plus more for topping
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes & very cold
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk, cold
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, divided
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 3/4 teaspoons pepper. Toss the cold butter into the flour mixture, coating it with flour. Working quickly, rub the butter into the flour until you have bits of butter that are no bigger than the size of a nickel. Some of the butter will be smaller and that's just fine.
Stir 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup into the buttermilk. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk mixture. Using a wooden spoon, mix the dough together until all the flour is hydrated.
Scoop big dollops of the biscuit dough onto the prepared baking sheet (I use an ice cream scooper, but you could also use a 1/4 cup measure)--this makes 8 big biscuits, so scoop 8 roughly similar dollops and make sure they're at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 14-16 minutes until gold brown. Remove from the oven, brush with the remaining tablespoon of maple syrup, and grind a little pepper over each biscuit. Cool the biscuits on the pan on a wire cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving. Serve with extra butter if you like. Enjoy!