Inebriated Stewed Blackberries with Sweet Cinnamon Biscuits

Narrative by Liz & Mel
Recipes by JoAnn

Bill Compton may have been the inspiration for this one, although Sookie has, on occasion, admired Sam Merlotte’s biscuits as well. And there are always fresh blackberries growing in her backyard to top off any recipe she might try.

Coralee: [about Sam while he’s walking away] “God bless who ever made those jeans! I swear, I’d wear him like a scrunchie!” – True Blood episode 2.12, “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’” 

Ingredients for biscuits:
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out
1 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits and chilled
1 cup whole milk, plus more for brushing tops of biscuits
2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar

Ingredients for stewed blackberries:
12 ounces fresh blackberries, or frozen, defrosted
3/4 cup cold water, divided
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1.2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, chilled
Healthy splash of brandy, optional

Directions for biscuits:
1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick silicone baking sheet. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Pour in milk, and gently mix until just combined.

3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Kneed lightly, using the heal of your hand to compress and push dough away from you, then fold it back over itself. Give dough a small turn, and repeat about 8 times. (It’s not yeast bread; you want to just barely activate the gluten, not over-work it.) Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough to 1/4 to 1/2-inch thickness in roughly a 12×12-inch square. (The dough will be tender.)

4. Using a pastry wheel, cut dough into strips approximately 4×2-inches. Liberally brush dough with milk, and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar. Using an offset spatula, transfer the strips of dough to prepared baking sheet.

5. Bake until deep-golden brown, approximately 10 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool.

6. To serve, divide sweet biscuits among 6 serving bowls, and top with stewed blackberries. Garnish with sweetened whipped cream. Serve immediately.

Directions for berries:
1. Place blackberries in a medium saucepan with 1/2 cup water, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, and cook, stirring with a whisk or old-fashioned potato masher to crush the berries, until the berries are pulpy, 3 to 5 minutes.

2. In a liquid measuring cup, combine remaining 1/4 cup water and flour. Stir well with a fork or small whisk until well combined and lumps remain. Add flour mixture to berries, and return to a boil. Cook until slightly thickened, another 3 to 5 minutes. Add vanilla, and remove from the heat. Add butter, stirring to combine.