Almond flour gives these not-too-sweet biscuits a subtle nutty flavor; cornmeal adds a bit of crunch. Instead of whipped cream, Barry Maiden serves the biscuits with two sweet-tangy accompaniments: whipped crème fraîche and blueberry sauce.
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1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup almond flour (see Note)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
3/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chilled vegetable shortening, cubed
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups blueberries (about 12 ounces)
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 cup crème fraîche
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 400°. Spread the almonds in a pie plate and toast for about 6 minutes, until lightly golden and fragrant.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment. In a medium bowl, whisk the all-purpose flour with the almond flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the shortening and cold butter until they resemble peas. Add the buttermilk and stir until the dough is evenly moistened.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and pat into a 1-inch-thick round. Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter, stamp out 8 biscuits, patting the scraps back together as needed. Transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes.
Brush the tops of the biscuits with the melted butter and sprinkle with sugar and kosher salt. Bake for about 18 minutes, until golden. Let stand until cool, 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in another medium bowl, toss the blueberries with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, the orange juice and zest. Let stand until the sugar is dissolved, about 15 minutes. Transfer 1 cup of the blueberries to a food processor and puree until smooth. Scrape the puree into the blueberries in the bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
In another medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the crème fraîche at medium speed until thickened, about 30 seconds. Using a serrated knife, cut the biscuits in half horizontally and set the bottom halves on plates. Top with a dollop of crème fraîche, the blueberry compote and a few toasted almonds. Cover with the biscuit tops and serve.
Almond flour is simply ground blanched almonds. Look for it at specialty-food stores and health-food stores.
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