Strawberry and other shortcake recipes for summer

You are going to want to make shortcake your family’s go-to summer dessert. Loaded with fresh, local fruit, the shortcake combines healthy fruit with a dose of decadence.

We are all familiar with strawberry shortcake, but don’t stop there. Rhubarb is the first fruit of the season, quickly followed by strawberries. Later in the summer, you can enjoy shortcake with peaches, blueberries, plums and raspberries.

Classic Shortcakes 

Serves 8

3/4 c. sour cream
1/2 c. plus 1-2 T. heavy cream, divided
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 c. all-purpose flour, plus more for your work surface
About 1/4 c. brown sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 T. (3/4 stick) cold butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicon mat or parchment paper.

Put sour cream in a large bowl; add 1/2 cup cream and the vanilla and whisk to combine. Set aside.

Put flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fine cornmeal.

Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until dough comes together. The dough will be sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface, pat into a ball and knead a few times.

Divide dough into eight equal portions, pat into rounds and place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops with the remaining cream.

Turning the pan at the mid-point, bake the shortcakes in the center of the oven for about 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.


Strawberry Shortcakes  

Serves 8

Classic Shortcakes recipe, plus:

Zest of 1 orange, divided
2 lbs. strawberries, hulled and quartered
Juice of 1/2 orange
Brown sugar
Whipped cream

Add half the orange zest to the dry shortcake ingredients in the food processor.
Continue with the remainder of the recipe.

Toss strawberries with the remaining zest, orange juice and brown sugar. Let berries sit for about 10 minutes to release their juices.

To assemble: cut shortcakes in half horizontally, top bottom half of each with strawberries and whipped cream. Add the top halves and more strawberries and cream. Serve immediately.


Ginger Shortcakes   

Serves 8

Classic Shortcakes recipe, plus:

About 1/4 c. finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Add crystallized ginger, ground ginger and cinnamon to the dry shortcake ingredients in the food processor. Continue with the remainder of the recipe.

Serve the Ginger Shortcakes with Rhubarb Compote or Fresh Peaches.


Rhubarb Compote   

2 lbs. rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 c. or to taste brown sugar
Juice of 1 orange
Grated zest of 1 orange
2 T. minced gingerroot
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch salt
Whipped cream

Put rhubarb, sugar, orange juice and zest, ginger, cinnamon and salt in a saucepan. Stirring frequently, bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally until rhubarb is just tender, about 10 minutes.

Remove compote from pan, cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To assemble, cut shortcakes in half horizontally, top the bottom half of each with Rhubarb Compote and whipped cream. Add the top halves, more rhubarb and cream.


Fresh Peaches for Ginger-Peach Shortcake    

Brown sugar
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
6-8 large peaches, peeled and sliced
Whipped cream
2-3 T. finely chopped crystallized ginger

Put 1-2 tablespoons sugar and the spices in a bowl; whisk to combine. Add peaches and gently toss. Let peaches sit for about 10 minutes to release their juices.

To assemble: cut shortcakes in half horizontally, top bottom half of each with peaches and whipped cream. Add the top halves and more peaches and cream, sprinkle with a little crystallized ginger and serve immediately.

An easy tip for peeling peaches

Bring a pot of water (large enough to submerge 2-3 peaches) to boil. While the water comes to a boil, fill a bowl with cold water and lots of ice. Using a slotted spoon, slide the fruit into the boiling water for about 10-15 seconds. Remove the fruit from the boiling water and immediately submerge it in the ice water. You can now easily pull the skin off with your fingers or a paring knife. This technique also works with nectarines and tomatoes.


Blueberry Shortcakes   

Serves 8

Classic Shortcakes recipe, plus:

Zest of 2 limes, divided
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2-3 pints blueberries
Juice of 1/2 lime
Brown sugar
Whipped cream

Add zest of 1 lime and spices to the dry shortcake ingredients in the food processor. Continue with the remainder of the recipe.

Toss blueberries with the remaining zest, lime juice and brown sugar to taste.

To assemble: cut shortcakes in half horizontally, top bottom half of each with blueberries and whipped cream. Add the top halves and more berries and cream. Serve immediately.

Susan Nye writes for magazines throughout New England. She shares many of her favorite recipes and stories about food, family and friendship on her award-winning blog, Around the Table, at www.susannye.wordpress.com.

Categories: Recipes