Almond Peach Shortcake

IMG_4411Hello all–  When we were first married, we lived in my grandmother’s little condo for 6 months, while she was off visiting family.  She had grown up on a farm down south and when I was young, she always had a large yard with chickens and corn stalks and flowers, a concord grape arbor and fruit trees, lots of fruit trees.

So during our stay in the condo, Larry took up a sledge hammer and broke up the concrete in her tiny backyard so she could put in some flowers and a peach tree.  She loved that peach tree, would study the tiny buds and prune down to only the finest peaches.  When she had a crop, she’d wrap those large juicy orbs in paper and bring us a few in a shoe box in the sumer,  golden and ready to eat.

Like Grandma Rose, I do love peaches and we’re enjoying them now, before they disappear from the market until next summer.  Here’s a shortcake we had with friends last weekend.  You could use berries or pears.  But peaches, they’re the best.

1 1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, cold from the fridge
3/4 cup buttermilk*
2 tsp. amaretto
3/4 cup sliced almonds
6 or 7 juicy, ripe peaches
1 pint whipping cream
2 tsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. instant vanilla pudding mix**

Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  With a pastry blender (or in a food processor) cut in the cold butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in the buttermilk and amaretto with a spoon.  Drop large spoonfuls of the dough onto a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. It should make 6 to 8 nice size shortcakes.  Sprinkle the almonds onto the shortcakes.  Press them into the dough, cut don’t flatten the shortcakes.  They will spread as they cook.  Bake them at at 425 degrees for 25 minutes until they are just brown around the edges.

While they are cooking, peel and slice the peaches.  If you need to, stir in a couple spoonfuls of sugar to sweeten them and bring out the juices.  Refrigerate the peaches until you are ready to eat them.

With an electric mixer beat together the whipping cream, powdered sugar and pudding mix  for a few minutes until it it thick and stiff.  Slice the shortcakes, spoon on the peaches and cream.  There you have it!–the end of  summer on a plate.

IMG_4398*If you don’t have buttermilk (a common occurrence around here), just substitute regular milk with a tablespoon of cider vinegar
**The instant vanilla pudding mix stabilizes the cream to keep it stiff.