Showing posts with label Four and Twenty Blackbirds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Four and Twenty Blackbirds. Show all posts

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Leek Pepper Biscuits #recipe for Thanksgiving @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: Happy run-up days to Thanksgiving, Mystery Lovers Kitchen friends! It's so interesting that my fellow bloggers are posting nontraditional Thanksgiving recipe suggestions, rather than old standbys. 

My recipe for leek and pepper biscuits falls somewhere in the middle. I know I have raved to you in the past about the fabulous bakery in Guilford, Connecticut called 4 and 20 Blackbirds. Among many other fabulous treats, they make special biscuits every Friday. You have to call in advance if you want any number of them, and I've done that many times. They are special enough for any holiday, including the baby shower I threw for our daughter last spring. (They made a smaller size for the tea sandwiches I had in mind.)

But what to do when I'm not in Connecticut? Mourn the absence of those biscuits at my table… But then, I heard that the lead two bakers had been interviewed by a local paper and that they'd been willing to provide the recipe for their leeks biscuits to the world. Hooray!

So that's what I'm sharing with you, tweaked of course for a lower sodium diet. And I should warn you, my oven is seriously malfunctioning. I mean seriously, as in turn the knob to warm and the temperature shoots up to 450 within minutes. I did manage to bake the biscuits by turning the oven on and off and watching carefully. They definitely would have been more beautiful without this oddball treatment! 


2½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons baking powder (I used no sodium)
10 tablespoons (5 ounces) chilled unsalted butter, cubed
1/3 cup finely chopped leeks (white and tender green parts only)
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (add more or less, depending on your taste—FOR ME IT WAS MORE)
¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (HA!)

Add all the dry ingredients to the bowl of your food processor and pulse until combined. Then cut chilled butter into dry ingredients, until a coarse meal texture forms. (Pieces of butter should be no larger than a small pea.) Stir in milk. 


Dump the dough onto a piece of parchment paper or a floured surface and knead a few times. Pat the dough into ½-inch thick rectangle. Cut into biscuits of your preferred size. You should have about twelve.

Place on a greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, turning cookie sheet 180 degrees half through baking time. Tops and bottoms should be nicely browned. 

(Lucy's note--I never roll and cut biscuits the traditional way anymore, as the method above is so easy. But if you want round biscuits, use a cookie cutter.) HAPPY THANKSGIVING! We're grateful for you, my friends!

Lucy writes the Key West food critic mysteries.  Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Orange Almond Sponge Cake with Orange Glaze @LucyBurdette #recipe

LUCY BURDETTE: You've probably heard me mention a hundred times my favorite bakery in Guilford CT called Four and Twenty Blackbirds. Everything they make is exquisite, but one of my favorite treats is an orange flavored angel cake with a lemon glaze. 

For your Mother's Day pleasure, I wanted to try to replicate something like that, but including almond flavor and an orange glaze. As you'll see, though there is plenty of sugar in the recipe, there is not one whisker of fat!


6 eggs
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup finely ground almonds
2 tsp grated orange rind
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract

For the glaze:

3 Tbsp fresh orange juice
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Grate the rind of a well-washed orange until you get 2 teaspoons, more or less. (I used a Honeybell.) Then squeeze the orange, using a second if needed, to make 1/2 cup. (You will use 1/3 of this for the cake, and the remainder for the glaze.)

In large bowl, place the egg whites with the cream of tartar and beat them with an electric mixer until they hold soft peaks. (You can test this by slowly withdrawing the beaters from the eggs. Soft peaks should stand up with the slightest droop at the top.) Next, gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar, beating until whites are stiff but not dry.

In another large bowl, place separated yolks. Beat them with unwashed beaters until thick. Add remaining sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating until the yolks are very thick and ivory colored.

To the beaten yolks, add the grated orange rind and the orange juice and almond flavoring, beating until just blended.

Beat in flour and ground almonds at a very low speed. Add the beaten egg whites to this mixture, and fold them in with a rubber spatula--gently.

Turn the cake batter into ungreased 10" tube pan. Cut through batter several times with a knife to break up any air bubbles and then smooth the top.
Bake at 325F for about fifty minutes. The top will appear golden and the cake should spring back when lightly touched.

Invert on wire rack to cool. Loosen cake from sides of pan with spatula. 
Set on serving plate.

Whisk together the orange juice, powdered sugar, and vanilla until very smooth. Drizzle this over the cooled cake.  My glaze did not sit prettily on the outside of the cake, but it gave the sponge an extra delicious pocket of flavor!

Serve on a pretty plate and watch them swoon!

MURDER WITH GANACHE, the fourth Key West mystery, is in stores now!

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bacon, Cheese, and Green Chili Quiche @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: My family had a fairly elaborate tradition for Easter--always hats and new dresses and baskets of chocolate and sharing big ham or lamb dinners. Most of that seems to have gone by the wayside. 

But even without a bonnet, I still do love having friends or family over after church and making something special for Easter brunch. This quiche recipe filled the bill. Now of course, Easter is a year away again. But Mother's Day is just around the corner--and I for one would be delighted to have someone serve this to me:).

I started with a recipe from Epicurious, but changed the heavy cream to whole milk and switched around the ingredients a little. Oh, I recommend the easiest homemade pie crust ever...


 8 oz bacon
1 can green chilis, chopped
1 bunch scallions
2 cups cheddar cheese
4 eggs
1 and 1/4 cups whole milk

Pie crust

Preheat the oven to 425.

I recommend using my father's easy vegetable oil pie crust. Directions for that can be found here. But if you must, you can use a purchased crust. In any case, roll out the dough and press it into a 10 inch glass pie pan. Cover the crust with foil and bake it for 5 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven and reduce the temperature to 400.

Drain the chilis. Grate cheese. Clean and chop the scallions. Dice the bacon and fry until crisp. Sprinkle the onion, bacon, and chilis over the bottom of the crust and add the cheese over top.

Beat the eggs and milk together

 and pour this mixture into the pan.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until the center is set (test this with a knife.) Let the quiche sit for at least 5 minutes, but may also be served at room temperature.

I served roasted asparagus and a green salad on the side, and leek pepper biscuits from my favorite Connecticut bakery, Four and Twenty Blackbirds. 

MURDER WITH GANACHE, the fourth Key West mystery, is in stores now!

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