Brown Butter Biscuits with Apple Saffron Jam and Caramelized Chestnuts

By Marcus Samuelsson |



● 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) cold unsalted butter

● 2 cups all-purpose flour

● 1 tablespoon baking powder

● ¼ teaspoon baking soda

● 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

● ¾ to 1 cup buttermilk


● 1 teaspoon garam masala

● 2 ea. star anise

● 2 2-inch cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces

● 2 whole cloves

● 1 cup water

● 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

● ½ cup sugar

● 4 fresh mint leaves

● Finely minced zest of 1 lime

● Small pinch of saffron threads

● 6 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and cut into large chunks


● 2 tablespoons butter

● ½ cup chestnuts

● ½ cup Pomegranate seeds

● 1 tablespoon maple syrup

● 1 tablespoon bourbon

● Aleppo pepper

● 2 teaspoons Soy Sauce


1. FOR THE BISCUITS: Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Cut 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of the butter into small pieces and put them in the freezer.

3. Cut up the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and put them in a small skillet (something light colored is better than cast iron here because it will be easier to see when the butter browns) over medium heat. When the butter melts, start swirling it in the pan. The butter will sputter while the water cooks out, and the solids will separate. Keep cooking and stirring until the solids have sunk to the bottom and browned and the butter smells nutty. Keep a constant eye on this so the butter doesn’t burn. This will take about 6 minutes. Pour the butter out into a small bowl—and make sure you’ve got all the browned bits.

4. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl. Take the butter out of the freezer and work it into the dry ingredients with your fingers until it resembles very coarse oatmeal with some larger bits of butter. Stir 2 teaspoons of the brown butter into ¾ cup of the buttermilk, add it to the dry ingredients, and stir the dough with your hand, kneading it a little. Add more buttermilk if you need it to make a cohesive dough that leaves the bowl clean.

5. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and pat it into an even disk with smooth edges. Roll out to ¼ inch. Cut biscuits with a 2-inch cutter and set them, barely touching, on a baking sheet. Gather up the scraps, form another even disk, roll out, cut out more biscuits, and add them to the baking sheet.

6. Brush the biscuits with the remaining brown butter and bake until risen and nicely browned on the top and bottom (lift one to check), 20 to 25 minutes.

7. FOR THE JAM: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

8. Toast the garam masala in a small dry skillet over medium heat, stirring for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Set aside.

9. With a mortar and pestle, grind the star anise, cinnamon and cloves into a powder. Or combine in a spice grinder (or clean coffee grinder) and grind to a powder. Combine the water and lime juice in a glass measuring cup.

10. Combine the sugar, garam masala, ground spices, mint, lime zest, ½ cup of the water-lime juice mixture, and the saffron in a baking pan large enough to hold the apples in one layer and mix well. Add the apples, stirring to coat with the spice mixture.

11. Cover the pan with foil and roast for 10 minutes. Add another ½ cup of the lime juice mixture, cover, and roast for another 10 minutes. Add the remaining lime juice mixture, cover, and roast for 10 minutes longer, or until the apples are very tender.

12. Transfer the apple mixture to a food processor and process to a jam-like consistency. Transfer the jam to several jars or tightly sealed containers and refrigerate until ready to use.

13. FOR THE SERVING: Sautee the chestnuts in the butter for two minutes until slightly fragrant. Add in the pomegranates and maple syrup and cook into caramelized.

14. Add in the bourbon and flambé until the alcohol is cooked off.

15. Finish with a pinch of Aleppo pepper and the soy sauce.

16. Slice a warm biscuit in half and slather with a generous amount of jam. Top with the chestnut-pomegranate mixture and serve.