Pepper Biscuits with Ham and Cherry-Raisin Chutney

By: Marge Perry & David Bonom

  • Yield: 36 biscuits (12 Servings)
  • Course: Appetizer



  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 teaspoons ginger, minced
  • 3/4 cup raisins, loosely packed
  • 1/3 cup dried tart cherries , loosely packed
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup currant jelly
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons course ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 5-6 ounces country style ham, thinly sliced


  1. For the Chutney: Heat the oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium. Add the onion and ginger; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 4-5 minutes. Add the cumin, curry powder and cinnamon and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Stir in the raisins and cherries; cook until slightly softened, 2 minutes. Add the cider and vinegar and cook until the raisins and cherries are plumped, about 2 minutes. Stir in the sugar and cook 1 minute. Remove from the heat and cool 5 minutes. Stir in the jelly, mustard, and salt until combined.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425°F
  3. For the Biscuits: Combine the flour, baking powder, pepper, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives cut the butter pieces into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the buttermilk until the mixture is just moistened; knead the dough 1-2 times in the bowl to bring it together. Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate 15 minutes.
  4. 4. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to scant 1/2-inch thickness. Using a 1 1/2-inch biscuit cutter, cut out biscuits and set them on a cookie pan. Gently press the dough scraps together and roll it out. Cut out enough biscuits to equal 36 and place them on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of each muffin with the melted butter. Bake the biscuits until they are puffed and the tops are golden brown, 10-12 minutes.
  5. 5. When the biscuits are cool enough to handle, cut them in half horizontally with a serrated knife. Top the bottom half of each with some of the ham and 1 teaspoon chutney. Replace top half of biscuit and serve. Can be assembled several hours in advance and kept in the refrigerator.