Oatmeal Biscuits with Maple, Strawberry, and Rhubarb

Lynda Oosterhuis

Formerly of Five & Ten - Athens, GA

In creating this dessert, pastry chef Lynda Oosterhuis was inspired by traditional Southern shortcakes. She served her shortcakes at the Beard House with strawberries and rhubarb, “the first signs of spring’s return,” adding the maple syrup as a nod to Five & Ten chef Hugh Acheson, who is Canadian. Though the dessert has many components, none is difficult to make.


Oatmeal Biscuits:

  • 1 3/4 cups bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant), coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into
  • 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Maple Sabayon:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup Muscat wine, at room temperature

Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote:

  • 1 1/2 cups rhubarb, in 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced

Rhubarb Soup:

  • 1 pound rhubarb, in 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup


In a medium bowl, mix flours, rolled oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut the cold butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or until the butter is firm again.

Meanwhile, mix the cream and buttermilk together in a pitcher or a measuring cup. Drizzle it slowly into the chilled flour-butter mixture, mixing just until the dough comes together in a shaggy mass. The dough will be sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in freezer for an additional 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375º F. Sprinkle the chilled dough with flour and lightly pat it out to about 3/4-inch thick. Cut it into 1-inch rounds with a biscuit cutter or into squares with a knife. It will make about 24 small biscuits.

Place the biscuits on a greased cookie sheet (or one covered with parchment paper) with about 1/2 inch between them. Brush the biscuits with the lightly beaten egg, then sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake them until they are puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

To make the sabayon, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks in a large bowl. Slowly add the maple syrup. Set aside.

Over a double boiler, with water simmering, whisk together the yolks and sugar until fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in the Muscat, and continue whisking for about 5 minutes, until the mixture thickens, doubles in volume, and forms ribbons when you raise the whisk and let mixture drop back into the bowl.

Fill a large bowl with ice, set the egg bowl inside it, and continue to whisk the mixture until it is cool.

Fold the whipped cream into the egg mixture. You can hold the sabayon, covered, in the refrigerator for up to two days.

For the strawberry-rhubarb compote, combine the rhubarb, brown sugar, the vanilla bean, and the vanilla seeds in a medium saucepan. Allow the mixture to sit for at least 30 minutes. Cook the rhubarb mixture over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the fruit begins to soften but retains its shape, about 5 minutes.

Add the sliced strawberries, cooking just until they begin to release their juices, about 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Remove the vanilla bean. Serve the compote at room temperature.

To make the rhubarb soup, in a wide-bottomed pot, combine the rhubarb, sugar, vanilla bean, and vanilla seeds, and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes. Add water and cook over low heat, stirring often, for 20 to 30 minutes, until the fruit has entirely broken down. Allow the soup to cool, then strain through a large-holed sieve. Add the maple syrup and chill.

To serve, split the warm biscuits in half. Coat the bottom of eight shallow bowls with the rhubarb soup. Place 3 biscuit bottoms in each bowl on top of the soup. Spoon the compote, then the sabayon, over the biscuit bottoms. Top with the biscuit tops. Serve immediately.


24 small biscuits