Even though we are just on the heels of spring, it still happens to be the final days of winter. However, the weather outside certainly begs to differ. With temperatures soaring into the eighties throughout this past week, I have to say that I was not prepared for the sudden gusts of heat and the return of summer clothing. Maybe I am crazy, but for a while I was hoping that the weather could return to normal again, but oh well, times changed and I am glad to have this great weather. In fact, I was so happy that I set out to make this very summery desert for a little gathering at my house over the weekend. It’s a shortcake, a classic emblem of American deserts, but instead of going the boring route of strawberries and whipped cream, I decided to get a little more sophisticated with a raspberry cream and fresh peach slices to top my shortcakes, and in my opinion, I think that truly is the beauty of this desert. Shortcakes are essentially a sweet biscuit, which can serve as a vehicle for whatever fruit and cream combination you desire. I can already see future combinations now: blackberries with lemon curd, mangoes with cardamon cream, strawberries and chocolate mousse, oh the possibilities are endless!
Unfortunately, this really is a desert that you should make during summer because let’s be honest, spring, “cough cough should I actually say winter?”, is not exactly peach season. I ended up with rock hard peaches that I had to flambe at the last minute, leading to quite a disastrous presentation, which you can view in the hilarious clip attached (I have no idea why I was speaking in a British accent). Fortunately, I took better pictures, barely, the next day once the peaches had cooled down.
So yeah, definitely give these shortcakes a try, a couple of months from now, and I assure you that you will be quite pleased with the results.
Makes 12 shortcakes
Biscuit Recipe (Adapted from Food and Wine)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cubed, plus 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons turbinado (i just used regular) sugar
Raspberry Cream (Adapted from Bon Appetit)
- 12 ounces raspberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2-3 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
- First prepare the raspberry cream. In a pot, combine the raspberries, sugar, eggs, lemon juice, butter, and salt. Heat the mixture over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture comes to a simmer and thickens. Make sure to stir frequently.
- Place the raspberry curd in the fridge until cooled completely, 6 hours to overnight.
- Whip up the heavy cream and then fold in the cooled raspberry curd. Place the completed mixture in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Now make your biscuits. Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Then place the all-purpose flour, cake flour, sugar, butter, baking powder, and salt in a food processor, pastry blender, or use two knives to blend the mixture until the butter is the size of peas. Stir in the cream until the dough is shaggy.
- Knead the dough on a lightly-floured surface for a couple of minutes till the dough comes together. Roll out the half the dough into a 7-inch round that is 3/4 inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter, a bowl, a glass, or whatever cutting device you have, stamp out 6 biscuits. Repeat with the other half of the dough till you have a total of 12 biscuits.
- Brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops of the biscuits are golden brown. Allow the biscuits to cool for a bit.
- To assemble the shortcakes, cut a biscuit in half. On the bottom half of the biscuit plop on some of the raspberry cream and top with a few fresh peach slices. Place the top half of the biscuit on top of the whole thing to create a completed shortcake.
- If fresh peaches are not in season, you can use frozen ones. I would recommend stewing them with a little sugar and vodka to soften up the peaches and letting the mixture cool before plating.
- If you would like to view the crazy clip of me trying to eat the rapidly sagging desert, check it out over here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nllvWPTv35A&feature=youtu.be