Friday, July 16, 2010

nothing says summer like...

Mixed Sugared Berries with
Sweet Vanilla Shortcakes
and Homemade Whipped Cream
Luscious fresh fruit shortcakes - the perfect summer dessert. In this version, the sweet vanilla shortcakes taste like a big delicious soft vanilla sugar cookie! Pair that with summer's freshest, ripest fruits and a dollop of real, homemade sweetened whipped cream, and you have one of the best summer desserts around!
Start by preparing the fruit earlier in the day; sprinkle 2 to 3 pints of fresh berries of your choice with a couple of tablespoons of white sugar and refrigerate until a luscious syrup is created.
The shortcakes may be prepared in advance as well, I like to prepare them in the morning while the temperatures are still cool for baking even though they only require about 15 minutes in the oven.
Buttermilk makes these shortcakes tender and the lightly sweetened vanilla flavoring makes them absolutely delectable and a little different. Try adding 1/8 teaspoon of almond extract and reduce the amount of vanilla slightly; this is especially good with fresh peaches and/or cherries!
You can sprinkle a bit of sugar on the shortcakes before baking, but I like them just the way they are, plain and very lightly sweet.

Ingredients:
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons COLD butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk (up to 1 cup, as needed)
  • 1 tablespoon light vegetable oil (I often use safflower)
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Combine dry ingredients until thoroughly combined. Quickly cut in the cold butter pieces until the flour mixture looks crumbly. Combine buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour buttermilk mixture into it; stir wet and dry ingredients together only until just combined. Do not overmix, this makes the shortcakes tough. Add a little more buttermilk if mixture seems dry; the dough should be slightly sticky.

Place dough on a floured surface and sprinkle the top of it with a bit more flour. Pat out to a 1 inch thickness with your fingertips (this can be pretty sticky; be sure your work surface is floured well). Cut out shortcakes with a biscuit cutter (I don't have one so I used a glass instead; worked just fine!). With this recipe I made 4 shortcakes; there will be leftover dough. Instead of gathering up the leftover dough and working it too much, I just made some small drop-style biscuits and baked them right alongside the cut shortcakes. They're delicious served hot with butter and preserves or honey.
Place cut biscuits on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake 15 minutes in a preheated 400 degree oven.

When done, the shortcakes will have nice lightly browned tops and will be a beautiful golden color. Allow to cool, then serve with the sugared berries and top with homemade whipped cream. Delicious!

7 comments:

maureencracknell said...

Oh so yummy! Your pictures are wonderful. : ) We have been enjoying berry season aound here - I may have try your shortcake recipe. Thanks!

Lonesome Road Studio said...

Thanks for stopping by!

Kat said...

Wow that looks amazing!!

Stephanie said...

ohh yum!!!!!

what beautiful pictures too!

Lonesome Road Studio said...

Thanks!

Additionsstyle said...

Wow that looks really good! I think I am going to give this recipe a try! Thanks for sharing.

Crystal Raen said...

Found your blog in the Etsy forums and I just had to say this looks super YUMMY!

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