Do you play Farmville? Are you sucked into the addictive digital world, worrying about your pixelated potatoes and digital beets? And no, I don’t mean your attempts in GarageBand…
I can’t seem to keep anything analog alive–I’m literally killing the succulent we keep on the dining room table–so I like to think that Farmville transfers the benefits of gardening (in real life, that is) to those of us with black thumbs. Or maybe it’s a sickly yellowish-green thumb, considering that’s how most everything leaves this world when it passed my hands.
In honor of Farmville 2: Country Escape, the folks at Zynga are putting together a cookbook called–quite cleverly–Farmville-to-Table. They’re compiling fifty country, summer-inspired recipes that make use of the ingredients you can cultivate in the game, including wheat, goat milk, blueberries, lemons, butter, sugar… which, hrm, sort of sound like the ingredients to this recipe..
And this is my entry! I am desperate to be accepted, people, so forgive my enthusiasm. But this dish actually is un-freaking-believable. Let me describe it for you as one might see, oh, on a menu.
Flaky Southern buttermilk biscuits topped with fluffy, homemade goat cheese, topped with a fresh, seasonal blueberry compote, fortified with just a touch of fresh lemon.
Did you not just die a little? I did. I died a little.
This recipe idea came to me like divine inspiration when I was riding in the car with some girlfriends on the way to a concert. I’d just received an email asking for submissions and knew I had to come up with something good, when it hit me. I meticulously planned the recipe for a few days and was sure that each step along the way would fail. When I turned out the homemade goat cheese, I thought for sure there would be something amiss, but no–I’d made perfectly fluffy, tangy goat cheese, in a little less than 2 hours and with only 2 ingredients!
When I layered the biscuits with the goat cheese and blueberry compote, I was worrying to myself, “Oh, it’ll taste weird. The blueberries will be so funky with the goat cheese. The butter will overpower the chèvre. What were you thinking, Cheryl, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!”
And then I took a bite.
And my smiling face lifted to the sky as the heavens opened up and angels with harps fluttered around, winking at me, like “Hey, man, good job. Good work.” Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink.
…it’s that good.
Whether or not I’ll be accepted to the cookbook, I’m not sure yet. But I do know this: I’ve got a secret weapon I can tuck away in my back pocket at whip out at the most strategic of times: buttermilk biscuits with goat cheese (homemade!) and blueberry compote. All at once homey and Southern, elegant and elevated, filling but light. Perrrrrrfect.
You’ll love this because of how the flaky and chewy yet light biscuit plays with the fluffy, tangy goat cheese. How the sweetness of the blueberries blankets them both, lightened by just a hint of tart lemon juice. None of the elements is difficult to make, but you’ll look like a master chef. For serious.
Oh, and pick me. Just saying.
Biscuits with Goat Cheese and Blueberry Compote
For the goat cheese
- 1 quart goat milk not ultra pasteurized
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
For the biscuits
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting
- 1/4 cup whole-wheat all-purpose or pastry flour
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter cubed
- 1/2 cup about 1/2 cup buttermilk
For the blueberry compote
- 1 1/2 cup blueberries
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot or cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon water
Make the goat cheese: in a non-reactive pot, heat the goat milk slowly on the stove over low heat until it reaches about 180 to 185º. You should see gentle bubbles and the surface will start to look a bit foamy. Turn off the heat.
Stir in the lemon juice and let sit off the heat for 10 minutes. The milk should curdle and start to become a bit thicker on the surface. Line a colander with two layers of cheesecloth and very gently pour the milk-lemon mixture into the lined colander. Gather the cheesecloth up around the curds and tie into a budle, using kitchen twine or a rubberband.
Set the colander over a large bowl, pot, or jar, so the liquid (the whey) can drip out. Let drain for at least 1 1/2 hours or overnight. Scrape the goat cheese off the cheesecloth and into a small bowl or airtight container (if not ready to use right away) with a spoon.
Make the blueberry compote: combine 1 cup of blueberries with 3 tablespoons water, lemon juice, and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, then mash mixture with a potato mashed until fairly smooth. Add remaining 1/2 cup blueberries. In a small bowl, combine arrowroot or arrowroot and 1 teaspoon water and stir until completely smooth. Pour into blueberry mixture and raise the heat until compote reaches a gentle boil. Boil for about 1 minute, or until lightly thickened. Mash again until desired texture is reached. Set aside.
Make biscuits: preheat oven to 450ºF. In a medium bowl, combine all dry biscuit ingredients, then cut butter into the flour until it resembles course meal, using a pastry blender, two knives, or a food processor. Add buttermilk and mix until just combined--over-stirring will result in tough biscuits.
Turn out biscuit dough onto flour surface. Pat dough down until it's 1/2" thick, then fold dough about five times (using a dough scraper really helps!) and pat down until about 1" thick. Cut into rounds using a round cookie cutter or mold. Place biscuits on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 - 12 minutes, or until biscuits are a light golden brown on top.
Assemble biscuits: slice warm biscuits in half and spread homemade goat cheese over the bottom half. Top with blueberry compote and serve.
Top with blueberry compote and serve.