Vegan Cornmeal Biscuits w/ Blackberry-Thyme Chia Seed Jam

There isn’t a piece and/or slice of bread that I have met and didn’t like.  Biscuits are no exception.  Flaky, buttermilky (is that a word) mounds of golden crust on the outside and soft on the inside.  And, depending on where you grew up, you either slather your biscuit with just butter, butter and jam, butter and honey, maple syrup, gravy, etc.  It’s that serious.  Admittedly, I didn’t grow up eating homemade biscuits. I’m a Jersey girl that visited family in the South and many of the meals I had focused more on my other favorite quick bread: Cornbread.  But, that’s for another post.  Back to biscuit talk.

As much as I adore biscuits, I wanted to create a lighter, healthier version.  I found Thug Kitchen’s Whole Wheat Biscuits recipe and adjusted it by adding cornmeal and unbleached all-purpose flour instead of whole wheat pastry flour.  Why cornmeal?  Well, a good deal of cooking for me at least, is either inspiration, “why not,” or I’m in the mood for such and such.  This recipe is largely a mix of inspiration and a bit of “why not.”   The last piece to this recipe is the Blackberry-Thyme Chia Seed Jam.  I’ve never made homemade jam before because I thought the process was too laborious, but I found a wonderful recipe that I adapted called Almost-Instant Blackberry & Chia Seed Jam from modernhippiehw.com.  It was quick, vegan and healthy.  I added thyme for an extra layer of flavor and because I find that fruit and herbs are a nice combination.

These biscuits can be adapted any way you like. You can add cheddar cheese, herbs, and buttermilk instead of plant based milk.  Either way, these Cornmeal Biscuits are tasty and can be enjoyed at any time of the day.

Here are few tips for making the perfect biscuit.  Heed these instructions.

1.       If you’re using coconut oil, make sure it is solid and opaque.  Place in your refrigerator until it solidifies.  I placed mine in the freezer for two hours, and got the result I needed.  If you’re not in a hurry, let the coconut oil sit overnight.  If you’re using butter, ensure the butter is cold. You just have to...trust me.

2.       Crumble the coconut oil or butter into the flour with your fingers and break up into pieces until coarse mixture forms.  I used my food processor. If using cold butter(vegan or non-vegan), another way to fully incorporate the butter is to grate it into the flour and mix until coarse.  

3.       Do not over handle your dough or it will be tough.  You want to gently knead the dough.  The dough should feel light in your hands.

4.       Do not roll out dough with a rolling pin. The dough needs to be handled as little as possible. Use your hands to form the dough into a 1 1/2-inch thickness and using a biscuit cutter or similar shaped object, cut out your biscuits.

 

Vegan Cornmeal Biscuits w/ Blackberry-Thyme Chia Seed Jam//serves 8

biscuits – adapted from Thug Kitchen
1 cup almond or other nondairy milk
½  teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup solid refined coconut oil

Turn oven on to 425’ and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Mix together the milk and vinegar in a small glass and set aside.  Sift the flours, baking powder, sugar and salt together in a medium bowlCrumble the oil into the flour a tablespoon at a time using your fingers and break up into pieces a little bigger than a pea.  The mixture should be coarse.  Make a well in the center and pour in the milk mixture. Stir until a shaggy dough is formed, but be careful not to overmix or your biscuits will be tough.  If it is too dry, add a tablespoon or two of milk.

If you are using your food processor, place all ingredients in the food processor, and pulse the flour mixture while adding the solid coconut oil or butter if you choose.

Turn the dough out on a floured surface and pat into a roughly 8 X 5 -inch rectangle about 1 ½ inches thick.  Using the open end of a glass or biscuit cutter, cut out the dough until you have 8 biscuits.  You will have to reshape the dough into another rectangle to get the remaining biscuits.  Just remember to gently reshape the dough.

Bake the biscuits until the bottom are golden, 15 to 18 minutesLet them cool then add..

Almost Instant Blackberry-Thyme & Chia Seed Jam (adapted from modernhippiehw)//makes 1 ½ cups
3 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen (or blueberries, strawberries, etc.)
4 tablespoons pure maple syrup or honey (add more to taste – depends on the berry)
3 thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add berries and sweetener to a medium sauce pan and mash with a potato masher.  Bring berries to a simmer and cook for about another 5 minutes.  Add the thyme sprigs and chia seeds. Reduce heat and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and add more sweetener if you’d like. The jam will continue to thicken as it cools. Store in a covered container in the fridge.  The jam will last up to 2 weeks.