Blackberry Shortcake

Hello all– Is is summer where you are??  School ended here yesterday.  The grand-girls and I had a water squirting adventure in the front yard this evening.  We’ve been eating dinner out back under the maple trees.  And there are mounds of berries at the market here.  We’ve made it to summer!

So Monday night when friends came in for dinner, this is what we had for desert.  Sweet tender little cakes, just a bit crispy around the edges — with cream and ripe black berries.  What’s more summery than that?!

BLACK BERRY SHORTCAKE

Shortcake:
1  1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2/3 cup buttermilk*
1 tsp. vanilla

Toppings:
12 oz. blackberries (2 small cartons)
2 tab. sugar
1 point heavy whipping cream
2 tsp. powdered sugar
2 tsp. instant vanilla pudding mix**

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, 1/3 cu sugar, baking powder and salt.  With a pastry blender (or 2 forks), cut in the butter until it resembles pea size lumps.  Then stir in the buttermilk and vanilla.

Drop mounds of dough onto a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray (makes about 8 medium shortcakes).  Bake them in a 400 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes until they’re nicely browned and crispy around the edges.

While they are baking, wash the berries and mix them with the 2 tab. of sugar.

With an electric mixer, beat the whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla pudding mix.  Set it into the fridge to firm up until your ready to serve the shortcake.

Set each shortcake on a pretty place and top with berries & cream.

*If you don’t have buttermilk on hand (like me), pour a tablespoon of cider vinegar in with whole milk  to make 2/3 cup.  Let it sit a couple minutes to thicken.
**The instant pudding stabilizes the cream, so it will stay firm when you serve it.

 

Strawberry Ice Cream Shortcake

 

IMG_4679
Hi all– Had the grand-girls down a couple weekends ago and if you ask them what they want for dessert, it’s sure to be something Pink!  So this fit the requirement. They thought it was just fine.   And besides how can you not like a dessert than is layered with crispy biscuits, ice cream, berries and whipping cream??

STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM SHORTCAKE

Basic Shortcake:
1  1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup buttermilk*
1 tsp. vanilla

And on top:
Strawberries
a sprinkle of sugar
strawberry ice cream
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla instant pudding mix**

Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Cut in the butter with a pastry blender (or in a food processor).  Then stir in the buttermilk and vanilla.

Drop the sticky batter by big spoonfuls onto a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. (makes about 8)  Set them at least 4″ apart because they will spread as they bake.  Pop them into a 400 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes until they are prettily browned and cooked through.

While they are cooking, whip the cream with an electric mixer, throwing in the powdered sugar and pudding mix.  Set aside.

Let them cool a bit and then slice the shortcakes horizontally.  Mix the cut strawberries with the sugar.  Fill the shortcakes  with the strawberries and ice cream and top with a generous dollop of whipped cream.  Viola!

*If you don’t have buttermilk on hand (like me), then just put a tablespoon of cider vinegar in the cup and add milk to make to cups.  Let it sit several minutes until it thickens like buttermilk.
**The pudding mix thickens the cream just slightly and acts as a stabilizer so it won’t wilt.  Makes it work to whip the cream ahead of time and just store it in the fridge til after dinner…

IMG_4671

 

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.

PEACH SHORT CAKE
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.