Monday, April 1, 2013

Spring Dessert

I think strawberry shortcake is our new guests for dinner, summer dessert. Based on a recipe I found on Epicurious I whipped up these cakey, sweet, super tender biscuits. In the food processor I mixed 1 3/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 TB baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt and pulsed in 1/2 stick butter cut into 1/2" chunks until mixed like coarse sand, or maybe just a bit lumpier. Then I poured in 1 cup of heavy cream, 1 heavy tsp each lemon and orange zest then pulsed until the batter just came together. I scraped the dough out onto a lightly floured surface , kneaded once or twice and patted the mixture out to about 3/4". I cut six 3" circles (I needed to re-pat the dough to get all 6) and lined them up on a parchment covered baking tray. I brushed each of the shortcakes with cream and then sprinkled the tops with sanding sugar. After about 20 minutes at 375ยบ my cakes were just a bit golden and ready to cool and be filled after dinner.
Though these sweet cakes would have been plenty good with just fresh strawberries I decided to follow the recipe and macerate sliced berries in a sprinkle of sugar, chopped mint and a dash of orange zest. When it came time to serve dessert I sliced the biscuits in half, poured the strawberries over the cake, added a generous dollop of whipped cream and the top of the shortcake -- garnished with a bit more cream and strawberries. Easy, seasonal, make-ahead, and delicious. The perfect summer dessert.

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