It’s funny, as time goes by living in the US, it becomes easier for me to forget there were a number of foods I just hadn’t come across (at least not with the names here) before I moved. For me it’s one of the best bits about living somewhere different, discovering and incorporating local ingredients and recipes. Some of them have become regulars in our menu, although there are always more I keep discovering – the regional specialties Sunday Supper not long ago highlighted a number for me to try. Biscuits (which are similar to a British scone but generally savory) are one we now have relatively often and I like to make different variations on them. When I saw this month’s Foodie Extravaganza was going to have buttermilk biscuits as a theme, I knew I needed to take part and try something a little new.
Sweet potato biscuits are a common variation on your basic buttermilk biscuit in the South of the US, where they originate, but they are often a bit sweet and if anything gently spiced eg with nutmeg. I decided to go for a more savory, herby version and also be a little less heavy on the butter compared to many versions to be a little healthier. These tarragon sweet potato biscuits have a wonderful soft texture, are lightly aromatic without being too much and make the perfect accompaniment to your meal. We had them alongside some Carolina-style pulled pork and vegetables and they were delicious. My son then happily had the one that was leftover as part of his lunch the next day, too (although as with most baked goods, they are best fresh).
While there’s a little more work to these since you need to cook the sweet potato ahead of time, these tarragon sweet potato biscuits are still really easy to make. You can steam the sweet potato or roast an extra one if you have the oven on already a day or two before. I use my trusty food processor method to bring everything together, quickly and easily, and as with scones, the key is to not overmix the dough to help them be light and fluffy. Sweet potato biscuits always have a lovely color and I like that you can make them moist without needing too much butter. Tarragon might seem like an unusual pairing, but it gives a lovely gently aromatic lightness to them. I didn’t put too much in as I know tarragon can overpower if you are not careful, but to be honest you could easily add more if you want a stronger tarragon flavor.
These tarragon sweet potato biscuits are a lovely variation on a Southern classic that are delicious alongside a whole range of foods, or eat them on their own as a snack. They’re easy to make and not bad healthiness-wise compared to many biscuits, so you have every excuse to give them a try. And adding them into regular rotation as we have.
- 7.5oz/215g sweet potato giving ¾cup puree
- 1¼cup/175g all purpose/plain flour
- ½tbsp baking powder
- ¼tsp salt
- ½stick/4tbsp/58g unsalted butter
- ½tbsp finely chopped fresh tarragon
- ¼cup/10g finely grated parmesan
- ¼cup/60ml buttermilk
- Peel and cut the sweet potato into chunks and steam until tender, around 10min although time will vary depending on the size of the chunks. Alternatively you can bake a whole sweet potato. Mash to a puree. This can be done a day or two ahead of time.
- Preheat oven to 400F/190C and grease or line a baking sheet/tray.
- In a food processor, pulse together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and pulse until you have fine breadcrumb texture. Add the tarragon, sweet potato puree, parmesan and buttermilk and pulse a few times until combined and coming together but take care not to overmix.
- (Note if you are making by hand, mix together the dry ingredients (as in food processor method) then rub in the butter. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until combined, being careful not to overmix.)
- Tip the mixture onto a floured surface and pat out the dough with floured hands, fold it over and pat out again to give you a layer around ¾in/ 2cm thick.
- Cut out circles with a cutter or glass, trying not to twist as you cut, and place the circles on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for around 12-15min until risen and lightly brown. After they've been out of the oven a minute, cool on a cooling rack or even better, enjoy warm.
It’s Foodie Extravaganza Day and this month’s theme is buttermilk biscuits – thanks to Kathleen of Fearlessly Creative Mammas for hosting. What is Foodie Extravaganza? It’s when a group of bloggers get together and make a recipe using one main ingredient. Where do we get the ingredient? We look at The Nibble and pick something off of their list (Buttermilk Biscuits day is actually May 14th but we choose from within the month). You can check out our group Pinterest board for past recipes. If you’re a blogger, you can join along with us by requesting to join on our Facebook page. Now, on to the goodness being shared this month:
Cacio e Pepe Biscuits by Laura at Baking in Pajamas
Buttermilk Biscuit Mixed Berry Shortcake by Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm
Savory Buttermilk Butter Biscuits by Kathleen at Fearlessly Creative Mammas
Tarragon Sweet Potato Biscuits by Caroline at Caroline’s Cooking
Maple and Bacon Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits by Rebekah at Making Miracles
Cinnamon Sugar Buttermilk Biscuits by Lauren at From Gate to Plate
Bacon Honey Mustard Biscuits by Stacy from Food Lust People Love
Buttermilk Lemon Biscuits by Kathya from Basic N Delicious
Southern Buttermilk Biscuits by Georgina from G’Gina’s Kitchenette
Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls with Chopped Pecans by Elaine from Cookin and Craftin
Biscuit French Toast by Teri from The Freshman Cook
Southern Buttermilk Biscuits by Sneha from Sneha’s Recipes