Life’s a peach, so make some shortcakes
photo by: John Young
Who said all shortcake had to be topped with strawberries?
It turns out, my kids aren’t huge fans of strawberries — something to do with the seeds. This made me sad, because I have fond memories of strawberry shortcake all summer long when I was growing up. Often, it was my job to make the shortcake, something I embraced fully because I liked to use extra sugar and butter in the batter, and if I were given the chance to make it, no one was the wiser.
Back then, shortcake was made in a round cake pan with Bisquick — and I still love that version if I’m honest. But usually these days I whip up a biscuity dough because it’s just as fast and I don’t always have baking mix in the cabinet that isn’t two years old.
Shortcake is great because it uses ingredients that are pantry staples. No fussiness involved, and it’s fast and easy.
For my Farm Fresh Challenge I selected the “cook” challenge, and I’ve been scouring Hy-Vee for the most local produce they can offer. This week, there were some lovely peaches, and I could not resist the siren song of a juicy peach as a snack or dessert.
Why not serve them, along with a few blueberries, atop my shortcake? I mean, with a dash of whipped cream, it’s summer on a plate. And even my kids will be happy because there’s not a seed in sight.
For the shortcake
2 cups flour
1 heaping tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar (I still like my shortcakes sweeter than most — you can reduce this if you desire)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons shortening
1 cup milk
Preheat your oven to 450 F.
Combine the dry ingredients, cut in the butter and shortening, and then add the milk. Mix until it comes together, but don’t overmix. This is a biscuit dough.
Drop onto a cookie sheet in fist-sized balls. I really just use my hands for this. Brush tops with melted butter.
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes until the tops brown.
Makes about 6 shortcakes.
For the toppings
Peel and slice four or five peaches. Mix in 1/2 cup blueberries. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, stir and refrigerate for half an hour (at least) to get everything nice and juicy together.
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon sugar
Combine and beat until soft peaks form.