Pickled Peach + Buttermilk Biscuits
Martha McMillin of Preserving Place very generously donated some of her products for the Skylight Farm dinner I cohosted last fall to benefit Wholesome Wave Georgia. We used several Preserving Place jams to accompany a cheese platter, but I wanted to really highlight her incredible pickled peaches. This dinner was to be a celebration of Southern food, of home cooks, and of a bountiful harvest. Every Southern home cook should know how to make biscuits, so the idea of pickled peach + buttermilk biscuits was born. I used local Banner Butter buttermilk and the queen of Southern flour, White Lily.
I went with square(ish) biscuits because it was much easier than stamping out four dozen circles for our dinner–plus it’s less wasteful since you can use every bit of dough. Due to the extra moisture from the peaches, these are sort of a cross between biscuits and scones; biscones, if you will. As such, you can also cut them into triangles like scones if you feel so inclined. We served these pretty little guys with Banner Butter‘s cinnamon-cardamom-ginger cultured butter. That was a really good choice… This recipe makes 12-16 biscuits, depending on the size you want.
1 c pickled peaches (about 4 peach halves), drained
2 c self-rising flour + more for surface
1-2 Tbsp sugar (optional) + more for sprinkling
6 Tbsp butter, cold
2/3 c buttermilk
cream or egg wash for tops
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Move rack to top third of oven.
2. Prep ingredients. Finely dice 6 Tbsp butter and place in freezer until needed (this is optional–you can also just leave it in the fridge until you need it). Dice about 1 cup pickled peaches into 1/2″ or smaller pieces. Place on paper towels and blot to remove any excess pickling liquid.
4. Make the dough. In a bowl, combine 2 cups self-rising flour and 1-2 Tbsp sugar. Add butter pieces and either cut with a pastry cutter, or use a snapping motion to combine butter and flour with hands. Continue until butter pieces are about pea-sized. Add peach pieces and toss to coat in flour. Add about half of the buttermilk (1/3 c) and stir. Continue adding buttermilk a tablespoon or two at a time until dough just comes together (the total amount of buttermilk will greatly depend on the moisture from the peaches).
5. Shape the biscuits. Flour a flat working surface, then turn dough out onto it. Gently pat dough into a square or rectangle about 1″ thick. Using a sharp knife, cut evenly into a 3×4 or 4×4 grid, depending on how many biscuits you want. Place biscuits on an ungreased pan at least a couple inches apart. Brush the tops of biscuits with cream, buttermilk, egg whites, or an egg wash (depending on your preference or what you have on hand). If desired, sprinkle tops with a little bit of sugar.
6. Bake those babies. Bake at 400°F for 12-15 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Serve warm!
Regular ol’ canned peaches work consistency-wise, but won’t have the same flavor as the pickled peaches. I haven’t tried this recipe with fresh peaches, but let me know if you do!
If you don’t have self-rising flour, you can make your own following this formula: 1 cup flour + 1 1/2 tsp baking powder + 1/4 tsp salt. I recommend pastry flour if you can find it since it’ll have more tender results than all purpose flour.
You can always bake the biscuits ahead of time and reheat them for a few minutes in a 350°F oven.
Leftovers will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or two.