Sunday, July 06, 2008

Strawberry and Blueberry Shortcake

In honor of the Fourth of July (even though it was 2 days ago) Ash and I made a patriotic shortcake for lunch.
Ash had a great idea to go berry picking yesterday to get fresh strawberries.  We did go and the weather was beautiful.  However, the berry picking was miserable.  Most years the berries have been large, the size of half dollars or bigger was the norm.  This year they were smaller than dimes.  And they were hard to find.  We normally would pick over 20 pounds in a half hour or less.  Yesterday, we spent an hour picking 4 pounds combined!  We were so disappointed.  Can you imagine if we had to go to the grocery store to get strawberries after picking for an hour!

Well, despite our disappointment, we drowned our sorrows in Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee and moved on with our day.
We altered the traditional strawberry shortcake recipe only slightly by including blueberries in the layers.  I searched and searched for a tasty variation on the shortcake.  I found one with cocoa in the biscuit and chocolate syrup on top, one with a spiced biscuit with cinnamon and nutmeg.  None appealed to me, so we did the traditional biscuit, macerated berries and whipped cream.  I also added some blueberries to a hot simple syrup and they were moist, yummy and had a nice blueberry syrup to accompany the biscuit.

Blueberries for shortcake
1 pint blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Heat water and sugar in a small pan until boiling.  Add blueberries and simmer for 2 min only. Turn off the heat and allow to cool.  Refrigerate.

Strawberries for shortcake
1 quart strawberries, cleaned and hulled
1/2 cup sugar
Slice berries (if large) and sprinkle sugar on top of berries.
Let sit for 30 min.  Mash the berries until some are crushed, but not all.
Refrigerate mixture while biscuits are baking

Biscuits
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
5 T butter, chilled and cut into bits
1 cup buttermilk

Mix flour, soda, powder and salt.  Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.  Add buttermilk, slowly, giving the mixture time to absorb.  Do not overwork the mixture.
Drop onto baking sheet by by heaping tablespoon.
Bake at 450 for 12 -14 min until golden.  I sprinkled some "sugar in the raw" on top of the biscuits before they baked.  Yum.

Whip 1/2 pint heavy cream with 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 tsp sugar.  

Split each biscuit in half.  Top half of biscuit with 2 heaving spoonfuls of blueberry mixture and 2 T strawberry mixture, allowing for the syrups of each berry oozing over the side of the biscuit.  Add a spoonful of whipped cream and top with the other biscuit half.  Add more whipped cream and garnish with a berry of each variety.
Yum.

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