Red, White, & Blue Shortcakes make the perfect seasonal dessert

Mass Appeal

(Mass Appeal) – May 21st is National Strawberries and Cream Day. So we asked our friend Jessie-Sierra Ross, creator of the blog “Straight to the Hips, Baby”, to create the perfect sweet treat! And the bonus…it make a pretty patriotic addition to your Memorial Day BBQ spread!

INGREDIENTS:

* For the Berries
1 quart of fresh strawberries
1 pint fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
* For the Shortcakes
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup of salted butter cold & cubed
1/2 cup of milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar for the tops of the shortcakes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
* For the optional glaze – 1 egg yolk + 1 tablespoon half & half
* For the Vanilla Whipped Cream
1 pint heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

For the Shortcakes

  1. Preheat your oven to 450F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Place aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the flour, 2 tablespoons of white sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, salt, and baking powder.
  4. Cut the cold butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter (you can do this in a food processor as well, but I prefer to do it by hand). Keep “cutting” the butter into the flour until the whole mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
  5. In a small bowl, lightly beat the whole egg.
  6. Add the milk, egg, and vanilla extract to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir together until everything is moistened. This is tricky – but you don’t want to over mix (that makes for tough shortcakes). There will be some flour pockets left, which is okay.
  7. Dump the dough out onto a well floured surface, and kneed for 8-10 pushes – just enough to bring it together. Shape & flatten the dough, using the palms of your hands, to a circle about 3/4 inch thick.
  8. Using a lightly floured biscuit cutter, or 3-inch across drinking glass, cut out several circles, and transfer to a lined baking tray. You want to have 6-7 rounds. After the first cut, gently bring the dough together, and flatten again, to cut batch #2.
  9. Once the shortcakes have been cut and transferred to the baking sheet, take a small bowl and fork-whisk together the egg yolk and the half & half for the glaze. Brush the tops of the shortcakes with this to glaze.
  10. Sprinkle the tops with turbinado sugar (sugar-in-the-raw).
  11. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until perfectly golden.
  12. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

For the Berries

  1. Wash & dry all the berries.
  2. Trim the tops off of the strawberries and slice into 1/8″ thin slices. Add to a medium sized bowl with the blueberries, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons white sugar. Toss gently and reserve.

For the Vanilla Whipped Cream

  1. Place your stand mixing bowl and whisk attachment into the freezer for 10 minutes, to chill the equipment. This will help you whip up the cream.
  2. After chilling, pour the pint of whipping cream into the mixing bowl, and with the wire attachment, beat on low for 30 seconds. Then, raise to medium-high for 1-2 minutes, or until the mix starts to thicken.
  3. Add the sugar and vanilla extract. Continue to beat the whipping cream on medium-high speed, until thickened and fluffy, usually another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Do not over beat! It usually takes me about 5 minutes start-to-finish for the whole process.

To Assemble

  1. Cut one of the cooled shortcakes in half, horizontally. Place a spoonful of berries on top, then a generous layer of whipped cream. Place the second shortcake half on top. Ta-daa!

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