Blueberry-Strawberry Shortcake

September 1, 2014

Blueberry-Strawberry Shortcake

Aunt Suzy says . . .

This weekend I signed up to bring dessert to a get-together with friends. I wanted to make peach pie, but couldn’t find ripe peaches. I remembered it’s the height of blueberry season and one of our farmers grows “everbearing” strawberries, so both were in the market at the same time. I searched the web for some ideas and came across an unusual approach I’d never tried – cooking some of the fruit into a compote and serving the shortcakes with a combination of cooked and fresh fruit. I had some trepidation about this, but thought what the heck! It was declared delicious by all, both with and without whipped cream! (I think this could be made with just blueberries, just strawberries, or a combo of blueberries and peaches as well.)

 The Shortcake

We recommend one of two recipes for the shortcake base. One uses butter and cream and one is the Joy of Cooking’s classic cream scones which I like to use when in a hurry – only 4 ingredients, plus heavy cream! Or use your favorite shortcake, biscuit or pound cake.

The Fruit

6 cups total fruit, mixed blueberries and strawberries

4 tablespoons total sugar

juice of 1/2 lime

Make the compote: Place 4 cups fruit (I used 2 cups blueberries and 2 cups strawberries, sliced in half) in a medium saucepan with 3 tablespoons of sugar and the lime juice. Stirring constantly, bring to a low bubble over medium heat, then simmer for 3-4 minutes until fruit is a little soft and juice is slightly thickened. Take off the heat, turn into a bowl and set aside to cool.

Prepare the fresh fruit: Place 2 cups fruit (I used 1 cup each blueberries and sliced strawberries) in a bowl with 1 tablespoon sugar. Let sit at least 30 minutes to macerate.

Final Assembly

Make whipped cream by beating 3/4 cup heavy cream with a mixer on high speed. Just before it’s completely whipped (soft peaks) add 1 tablespoon sugar and whip to moderately stiff peaks. Don’t forget you’re not making butter! Or buy your favorite pre-made whipped cream if you’d like. We won’t tell :-).

Split the shortcakes horizontally. Spoon compote on top of the bottom, top with fresh fruit and then with whipped cream. Place top half of the shortcake on to of the prepared shortcake at an angle. I’m looking at our photo – we were in too big of a hurry to eat this to arrange it all per instructions!

Aunt Suzy says

The Farmers’ Markets this weekend were amazing in their abundance of so many things that I love to eat and cook with.  I especially love the short window of time in June when Russ Willenbring of Produce Acres, who I introduced in an earlier post, has both asparagus and strawberries.   And this Sunday, Randy and I got to the Minneapolis Farmers Market early- before he had sold out of either item.  We hit paydirt!   I am inspired to title this post “keep it simple” as I did on the one for the asparagus because with produce this good, that’s the best approach to taste all the deliciousness.  I’m crossing my fingers that there is one more week left of strawberries so I can have them next Sunday for Breakfast at Wimbledon.  Well not really “at” Wimbledon, but more like “for” the Wimbledon final that I will be watching on my TV.  

The simple approach that I recommend is Strawberries with Cream Scones.  These scones, from the Joy of Cooking, use heavy cream in place of butter and eggs and are a snap to make.  While I like the eggs/butter recipe for when I’m eating the scones by themselves, this recipe isn’t as rich, so it pairs better with the fruit – and whipped cream, of course!

Cream Scones

2 cups flour

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

Pre-heat the oven to 425 F.  Whisk the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.  Pour in cream and stir with a wooden spoon until it starts to incorporate into the dry ingredients.  Continue to blend in the cream with your hands by kneading against the side of the bowl until thoroughly mixed together.  Be careful not to overprocess.  Turn out onto a floured surface – I like to use a pastry cloth, but a granite or wood surface or wax or parchment paper all work well.  Pat to about 1/2-inch thick.

Using a bisuit cutter or top of a glass, cut out as many scones as you can.  This time I made my dough a little thicker and got 10 scones, although the recipe is for a dozen.  Place scones on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, until tops start to turn golden.   Place on a rack to cool slightly.

Strawberries and Whipped Cream

Slice in half and place in a bowl as many strawberries as you want to use immediately.  Put a little sugar on them to taste.   Let them sit for 30-60 minutes so the berries expel some of their juice. 

When ready to serve, whip heavy cream using a wisk or a mixer till soft peaks form.  Add just a little sugar to taste and continue to beat until a little thicker.  Don’t over do it (like I did today :-)) or it will get to thick and on its way to becoming butter. 

To serve, cut a scone in half and place in a bowl while still warm.  (Or, if the scones are no longer warm, heat them up a little in the oven or toaster oven.)  Ladle strawberries with some juice onto one side of the scone, cut side up.  Place some of the cream on top and then place the other side of the scone halfway on top of the berries and cream.