Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Berry Nice to Sweet You

Blueberry Shortcakes with Brown Sugar Biscuits (For Kaite)

Of all my many favorite things about spring and summer, perhaps one of my most favorite is the presence of berries in my life. So good and so good for you! It doesn't take too much to throw together a fantastic springtime berry-based desert with a few basic ingredients and a little time in the kitchen. I had my friend Kaite over for a spring-time salmon dinner the other night and put together this as a light and complimentary dessert to the meal. I told her if she liked it, I'd name it after her . . . I think she liked it.

- 2 c. fresh blueberries, rinsed
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 8 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 1/4 c. flour
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1/2 c. lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- milk
- vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 c. heavy cream
- 1/4 c. powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 400˚F. In a large bowl, sift together flour and baking powder, whisk in sugar to combine. With a pastry blender or two forks break up cold butter into flour mixture until combined, but not overworked. Dig a well into the dry ingredients. Break egg into measuring cup, add just enough milk to make 3/4 c. liquid. Add 1 tsp. vanilla extract and syrup to liquid. Pour liquid into well and combine with dry ingredients. Work mixture with forks until a sticky, soft dough forms. Turn out onto a floured surface and pat out into a round about 1" thick.

Cut into 8 wedges and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in oven about 10-12 minutes until the biscuits are rising and very slightly browned on top. Place on wire rack to cool.

Just before serving shortcakes, combine berries, honey, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Set aside. While berries soften slightly in lemon juice combine heavy cream, 1 tsp. of vanilla extract, and powdered sugar in a large bowl. With a hand mixer on high whip ingredients into whipped cream- allow stiff peaks to form. Then assemble the shortcakes by splitting biscuits in half, topping with whipped cream and berries. Yum! It's good stuff.

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