Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mixed Summer Berry Shortcakes

Summer might have officially started on the day of the solstice, but to me it starts on the day, when the first truly summery dessert is being imagined and created. It usually means some yummy mixed berries, zesty lemon juice, beautiful aroma of fresh mint and lots...lots of ice cream. Imagine all of it sandwiched between buttery, flaky sliced biscuits....that's how the Summer should start! Don't you think??? I simply loooove this version of a classic strawberry shortcake, where the biscuits are spiced with ground nutmeg and the berries are fancied up with mint. This recipe is loosely based on the one I found in an old issue of "Self,Dishes", a healthy cooking magazine, and even though it barely resembles original version, it still tricks me into thinking, that I can eat two instead of one....with no guilt!

ingredients for the berry mixture:
1lb of strawberries, halved
6oz blackberries
6oz of blueberries
2 Tbs fresh mint, chopped, save some smaller leaves for garnish
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbs of lemon juice

In a large bowl combine all the berries, add lemon juice, sugar and mint. Mix well, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

ingredients for the shortcakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 stick (1/4c) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup buttermilk(well shaken)
1 tablespoon buttermilk for brushing the biscuits

Preheat oven to 425°F. In a large bowl twice sift all of the dry ingredients, mix it well and add chilled butter. With your fingers blend the mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Add the buttermilk and mix just until combined. It will be very moist and sticky.

On a lightly floured surface, gently roll the dough with rolling pin to 1/2 inch thickness. With floured cookie cutter, cut out 6 biscuits. Transfer to ungreased baking sheet. Brush the tops with buttermilk.

Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 12 to 15min. Until lightly golden. Cool to room temperature, before serving.

to serve:

Half the shortcakes, place the bottom part on the plate, drizzle with some berry juice if you like, top it with big scoop of vanilla ice cream, add the berry mixture and cover with top part of the biscuit.

I usually like to wait a moment before I eat it, just until the ice cream melts slightly and softens the shortcake, but you go ahead and indulge, it really tastes like Summer!
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