It was only a matter of time before sweet potato-loving Southern cooks combined the fluffy texture and pleasant tang of biscuits with the earthy sweetness of this popular tuber.
To add this potato’s natural sweetness to biscuits without weighing down the dough, we microwaved the sweet potatoes, which eliminated their moisture while concentrating their flavour.
After mashing the flesh, we stirred in cider vinegar to mimic buttermilk’s tang and to create greater lift once combined with the dough’s baking powder and baking soda. We maximized the biscuits’ tender texture with low-protein cake flour and opted for the deep, molasses-like sweetness of brown sugar to complement the sweet potatoes.
The dough took on a pretty orange colour, and, once baked, the biscuits emerged tender and subtly sweet, perfectly ready for a smear of butter or jam, or to be sliced and stuffed with ham and mustard. If you can find them, Beauregard sweet potatoes are the best variety for these biscuits.
The biscuits can be stored in airtight container for up to two days.
SWEET POTATO BISCUITS
Start to finish: 1 hour, 30 minutes
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, unpeeled, lightly pricked all over with fork
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 1/4 cups (13 ounces) cake flour
1/4 cup packed (13/4 ounces) dark brown sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces and chilled, plus
2 tablespoons melted
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening,
cut into 1/2 inch pieces and chilled
Microwave potatoes on plate until very soft and surfaces are wet, 15 to 20 minutes, flipping every 5 minutes. Immediately cut potatoes in half. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop flesh into large bowl and, using potato masher, mash until smooth. (You should have 2 cups. Reserve any extra for another use.) Stir in vinegar and refrigerate until cool, about 15 minutes.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Process flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in food processor until combined. Scatter chilled butter and shortening over top and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 15 pulses. Transfer flour mixture to bowl with cooled potatoes and fold with rubber spatula until incorporated.
Turn out dough onto floured counter and knead until smooth, 8 to 10 times. Pat dough into 9 inch circle, about 1 inch thick. Using floured 2 1/4 inch round cutter, stamp out biscuits and arrange on prepared sheet. Gently pat dough scraps into 1 inch-thick circle and stamp out remaining biscuits. (You should have 16 biscuits total.)
Brush tops of biscuits with melted butter and bake until golden brown, 18 to 22 minutes. Let biscuits cool on sheet for 15 minutes before serving.
Nutrition information per serving: 265 calories; 93 calories from fat; 10 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 19 mg cholesterol; 450 mg sodium; 39 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 6 g sugar; 3 g protein.