What’s one great side dish to contribute to Thanksgiving dinner when you’re short on time and inspiration but really need to deliver (and takeout’s not an option)? That’s the simple but crucial question we asked Kerry Diamond and Claudia Wu, the sustenance, style and, of course, taste behind Cherry Bombe, the biannual women-in-food mag that is our—and everyone we know’s—latest obsession. (In fact, we’re such fans that we sponsored the latest issue.) Their answer: the pillowy biscuits served at Seersucker, the Southern-influenced Brooklyn restaurant Diamond co-owns. Difficulty grade: E for Easy. Deliciousness grade: A for Amazing. All in under an hour, which leaves you time to whip up Seersucker’s trademark molasses butter (and earn major bonus points while you’re at it).
7 cups cake flour (keep some extra handy, for rolling biscuits)
3 Tbsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. baking soda
1½ tsp. salt
¾ cup lard
3 cups cold buttermilk
4 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter
Fleur de sel (sea salt)
Sift the dry ingredients together. Cut in the lard with a pastry cutter (crosshatching the lard by raking two knives in opposite directions works too) and add the buttermilk, mixing well with a spoon. Empty the bowl onto a well-floured surface and knead until a soft dough forms, adding pinches of flour to prevent stickiness. Roll out the dough with a floured rolling pin (or wine bottle) until it’s a half-inch thick, and cut out biscuit shapes. (An upside-down drinking glass works perfectly.)
Preheat the oven to 425° F, and cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil, shiny side up. Butter the foil and arrange the biscuits on it, barely touching. Glaze the tops with butter and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the tops are golden brown.
Serve immediately with butter, preserves or honey. If traveling, let cool, then wrap in a fresh, decorative dishtowel. (Leave the towel behind, et voilà—hostess gift.)
Seersucker’s Salted Molasses Butter
1 lb. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. molasses
1½ tsp. kosher salt
Let butter soften. With a soft spatula or wooden spoon, mix in the molasses and salt together. Serve with warm biscuits.