(Mass Appeal) – Fresh berries are everywhere this time of year and one of the most classic ways we can use them, is to make a delicious shortcake. Here with his take on this timeless dessert is Michael Kachadoorian, cookbook author and founder of bakingnaturally.com.
For the shortcake:
3 cups of unbleached, all-purpose flour
½ cup of pure cane sugar
1½ sticks of unsalted butter, cold, cut into ½-inch pieces
¾ teaspoon pink Himalayan salt, fine ground
1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/8 teaspoon ground Vietnamese cinnamon
¾ cup of sour cream
¼ cup whole milk
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, add flour, sugar, butter, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and zest. Mix on low for 2 minutes or until the butter is incorporated.
In a separate bowl, mix sour cream, milk; set aside. In a small bowl, mix egg and vanilla until well blended. Then, with the mixer on low, add the sour cream mixture to the flour mixture. Next, add the egg mixture until the dough comes together and it pulls away from the bowl.
Roll out dough on a floured surface until approximately ½-inch thick. Cut into 4×4-inch squares. Arrange squares on the prepared baking sheet about ½ an inch apart.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, let cool completely.
For the berries:
1 ½ pounds fresh strawberries
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon fresh orange juice
Mint leaves for garnish (optional)
Cut 1 pound of strawberries in quarters and add to a medium sauce pan with 2 tablespoons of water, sugar, and orange juice. Over low heat, cook the berries with the sugar for about 10-15 minutes. Let cool completely overnight in a refrigerator is best. Take the remaining half pound of fresh berries and cut in half, or however you like. Add the fresh berries to the completely cooled cooked strawberry mixture.
Assemble the dessert by cutting a shortbread in half. Place one half on a plate, top with whipped cream and berries, add more whipped cream on top of the berries then place the other half of the shortcake on top. Add more sauce, strawberries, and whipped cream, top with mint garnish, if using.