Food & Drink

Tomato Biscuits

Makes 8 biscuits

A perfect Southern match

photo: Margaret Houston


Leave it to Willie Foster of Biscuit King’s Fun Barn in Fairhope, Alabama, to make the tomato sandwich on our cover into a why-didn’t-we-think-of-that breakfast treat.
The self-taught baker’s signature Ugly Biscuit is an all-in-one meal of sausage, bacon, egg, and cheese tucked into a football-shaped lump of dough that appeared in our 2014 roundup of the best breakfast joints in the South. But while visiting family in the Holy City earlier this week, he treated the Garden & Gun staff to an off-menu special.

“I’ve made tomato biscuits before, but they’re not on our menu,” he says. “I was looking through the magazine, and looking at those tomatoes. I had been to the farmers’ market and bought big, fresh tomatoes, so I thought I’d make some biscuits and run them over.” He found the rest of the ingredients in the refrigerator: mayonnaise, mustard, and a little bit of cheese. “Anything off the shelf works fine. I don’t have any idea what kind I used.”

We enjoyed the biscuits so much that we asked him to teach us how to make them, and he graciously obliged. To start, he cuts a round of dough and spreads it with mayonnaise and mustard before he folds it over half a slice of fresh tomato and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese. He brushes each biscuit with butter, drops more cheese on top, and then bakes the whole thing for about fifteen minutes. The result is a crumbly buttermilk biscuit with a soft tomato sandwich center. It’s a happy marriage of summer staples that’s well worth a try at home. Or at the Fun Barn, if you’re lucky enough to visit Foster and his team in person. “People who know can come in and ask for a tomato biscuit,” he says. “We’ll make it.”


Ingredients

    • 1 lb. White Lily self-rising flour, about 3 2/3 cups

    • Salt and black pepper

    • 8 tbsp. butter, frozen

    • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

    • 1 large tomato, halved and sliced

    • Mayonnaise, preferably Duke's

    • Mustard

    • 4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded

    • 2 tbsp. melted butter, for greasing and brushing


Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

  2. Season the flour with generous pinches of salt and pepper. Mix well, and then grate in the butter. Add the buttermilk, stirring with your hand until thoroughly mixed. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and knead it gently only a couple of times, until it comes together as a unified mass. Press it into a ½-inch thick round and cut circles about twice the width of the halved tomato slices. Spread them lightly with mayonnaise and mustard, add tomato and 2 oz. cheese, and then fold over and seal the dough.

  3. Place the stuffed biscuits on a greased baking sheet and brush them with butter. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden.

Adapted from Willie Foster of Biscuit King’s Fun Barn in Fairhope, Alabama


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