Well, I decided I didn’t feel like posting a Bargain Meal of the Week, $5.00 more or less post! I also decided to throw caution to the wind as far as cost and nutrition goes – and not think about it!
I was much too focused on Memorial Day weekend, yard work and visiting my new grand-nephew. Oh, yeah, and this dessert…a family favorite for years, we have it on the summer Holidays, especially the Fourth – I don’t think there’s a more perfect red, white and blue dessert.
There are four components: Shortcake, Berries, Whipping Cream and Sauce. The sauce can be made ahead several days, but the rest are really best the same day. In the photo above, I didn’t make or use the sauce this weekend- that’s generally reserved for company at our house, and it was just family last weekend. (As you can see from the above extravaganza we didn’t suffer any because of the lack of it!)
The shortcakes are also wonderful eaten as scones – I just divide them into eight instead of six, and sometimes add blueberries or raspberries, raisins or currants.
Shortcakes, makes 6
- 3 ¼ cups of flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- A little milk or cream to brush tops
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Place flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a food processor. Cut the butter in half, then in small pieces. Add to flour and pulse, carefully, several times. You want large pieces (about the size of a pea) left. Gradually add milk while pulsing. Stop when it still looks crumbly – it shouldn’t be totally mixed at this point.
Dump on to counter and mix a little with your hands until it just holds together, but is still very shaggy looking. Divide into six pieces.
Place on baking tray in mounds – lining the tray with parchment or foil helps with clean up. Brush tops with milk or cream – just use a little from the whipping cream you’ll use to serve with it. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 – 17 minutes. Do not over bake – better to sacrifice a little browning than to have dry shortcakes.
Cool on a rack and store in an airtight container. These are best the same day, but still good the next. The crispy exterior tends to soften with storage.
To assemble: Place sauce on a plate, Split shortcake in half horizontally. Put the bottom on top of the sauce, then add whipped cream. Layer on some berries, then place the shortcake top over them. Add some whipping cream to the top, garnish with more berries and drizzle more sauce over all. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.
Mixed Berries, about 3 cups
- 3 cups of berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries mix and/or match)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon rum (I like Cap’t Morgans) or Grand Marnier
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
Slice strawberries, and mix all berries very gently with sugar, rum and nutmeg. Taste – you may want a touch more sugar if the berries aren’t sweet. Chill for up to two hours, and at least one.
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1/8 cup powdered sugar
- Vanilla, rum or Grand Marnier, about a teaspoon or so.
Whip cream until soft peaks form. Add rest of ingredients and whip until stiff peaks.
Berry Sauce – if you don’t care to use the sauce, just use the juices from the berries, or even a blueberry syrup, with a little water added.
- 3 cups of berries (use a single type, one of the ones used for the shortcake – blueberry or blackberry looks particularly stunning in the final dish.)
- 3 tablespoons rum or Gran Marnier
- 6 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons water
Add all ingredients to saucepan, bring to a boil. Blend in blender or food processor. Strain and chill.
Money and Time Saving Strategies:
I’m abandoning my usual rhetoric here in favor for a quick comment or two:
Shop during the Holiday sales for the berries or check Aldis. Whipping Cream is usually on sale every Holiday, and generally butter is too. Stock up – freeze the butter, and whipping cream keeps for several weeks in the fridge, unopened.
If you don’t like to use alcohol, use vanilla. If you’d like to use the orange flavor instead of the rum, and don’t want to put out for Grand Marnier, use a little orange schnapps or an extract. (Be careful if you use the extract – it’s often strong.)
Hope you had a great Memorial Day – think of this dessert over Father’s Day, the Fourth and Labor Day.
- Simple Strawberry Raspberry Summer Shortcakes (glutenfreeinga.wordpress.com)
- Homemade Whipped Cream | Tips for Making Whipped Cream (faithfulprovisions.com)