The Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery has always been, and will always be, a favorite of mine. With Anne’s unique way of seeing the world and the cast of characters around her as she builds a life on the picturesque Prince Edward Island, these books are a perfect blend of reality and whimsy.
Seven years ago, when I started a “Reading in the Kitchen” series on my first blog, I made Ruby Tea biscuits, because they popped up on a Google search of Anne of Green Gables recipes. I wanted to re-create them now to see if they were as good as I remembered. Verdict: They were even better. Maybe it was using real butter and milk. Maybe I’m a better baker. Maybe it was that I’d gone a couple weeks without baked goods when I ate these. Whatever it was, they’re simple to make and completely delicious.
But here’s where it gets awkward.
Unlike my first time around, I wanted to find the scene where Anne and friends ate these in the books. I re-read Anne of Green Gables and Anne of the Island (the third book in the series, but totally my favorite). I skimmed Anne of Avonlea, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne’s House of Dreams, and Anne of Ingleside. Maybe I wasn’t reading closely enough. Maybe I became too caught up in other aspects of the story. That happens. So I did another Google search, and now, years later, the only evidence I could find of it for certain was in the Anne of Green Gables Cookbook.
Well, then. I’ll be honest, I don’t know if this recipe is exactly like the one in the cookbook. I hope it isn’t. But I want to pay tribute to said book all the same. I hope you’ll enjoy these Ruby Tea Biscuits and what we do with them in the next post.
Ruby Tea Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup strawberry or raspberry jam
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees and line a cookie pan with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of sifted all-purpose flour, 4 teaspoons of baking powder, 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. With a pastry cutter, add in 1/2 cup of room temperature butter. Add in 3/4 cup of milk and knead to make a semi-sticky, but not overly elastic, dough.
Roll out the dough out on a floured surface to be about a quarter-inch thick. Cut 24 circles with a large biscuit cutter. You will need to re-roll the dough two or three times. Place 12 of the circles on the prepared cookie sheet with about 1 or 2 inches between each. Use a small biscuit cover to remove the centers from the remaining 12 biscuits. Place the hollowed circles neatly on top of the other circles.
Place a spoonful of your selected jam in the center of each biscuit, filling it. Raspberry preserves feature prominently in the Anne of Green Gables books, but strawberry also fits the theme.
Bake for 12-15 minutes. Serve warm or cooled. Best when eaten within the first couple days of baking.