It’s my mother-in-law’s fault that I stopped making proper piecrusts. I blame her because during the first Christmas eve I ever spent with my future husband’s family, she served her specialty, a traditional french-Canadian pork pie called tourtière. The savory spiced filling was enveloped by a buttery, meltingly tender crust, which she told me was made from biscuit dough. As the story went, many years earlier, she’d run out of time to make a pastry dough for her tourtière and had used a fast biscuit dough instead. everyone raved, so it became her standard. Now it’s mine, too.
Since then, I’ve used biscuit dough instead of pastry dough for just about everything. Not only is it buttery and flaky, as a good piecrust should be, but it takes less time to make because there’s no chilling or resting required before you bake it. And biscuit dough doesn’t shrink when baked, as pastry dough can.
Biscuit dough is endlessly versatile: I roll it very thin to make crackers, wrap it around peaches for a summertime riff on apple dumplings, fill it with cinnamon-sugar and nuts and roll it up into pinwheels, and even use it as a tender crust for a savory tomato pie. Of course, I still turn biscuit dough into biscuits, but following my mother-in-law’s lead, why stop there?
This versatile biscuit dough comes together in minutes and can be used to make not only biscuits, but many other tasty treats as well.