Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Strawberry and blackberry shortcakes with Grand Marnier whipped cream

086 v1

It’s finally berry season and these strawberry and blackberry shortcakes went over very well at a meeting with my foodie friends at a backyard barbeque recently.   Slightly sweet and very tender, these shortcakes are a cinch to make.   Similar to scones and Southern biscuits, shortcakes contain a ‘healthy’ dose of shortening (or my preferred butter) which creates a “short” and delicate crumb.   Filled with lightly sweetened whipped cream and a combination of fresh summer berries soaked in a little bit of orange decadence (aka Grand Marnier), this dessert prettily announces the beginning of Summer.

As wonderful as all berries are, I had a major run-in with them in Oregon during a wine-tasting trip in the Willamette Valley.  It was late September and much to my delight I found the country roads surrounding our Bed and Breakfast lined with enormous wild blackberry bushes - hundreds of them – loaded with thousands upon thousands of blackberries at different stages of ripening!  These impressive, sometimes 12-foot tall plants use boundary fences and posts as support for their thorny, entangled canes.   They provide a wonderful feast for the birds for several months and I was astounded that so many perfectly ripe and sweet berries were left to rot.   I couldn’t wait to get my mitts on them!

Oregon Sept 08 105-crop v1

Fearless of the possibility of snakes which make the bushes their habitat, I dove in and moved from branch to branch and ate more than I was putting into my Ziploc.  I was not intimidated!   I conquered!   Unable to pace myself midst such glorious fruit, I became an uncontrollable glutton.   Here was my chance to load up for free on vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, fiber, and oh yeah…I forgot…sugar!  

It was a morning (and sometimes evening) ritual, with a healthy dose of wine-tasting in between (I know…more sugar).  I had totally ignored the warnings of my friend Ralph, who predicted my affliction.   In a couple of days my mouth was reeling from a serious overgrowth of yeast.   Generously fueled by my greed and the sharp increase in sugar, I had a veritable bloom of yeast buds splurging in my mouth.   It was not a pleasant feeling and nothing short of a drastic change in diet and a few pills would stop it.  

But don’t let me stop you from enjoying these shortcakes with berries…in moderation of course!  Our group is planning a wine-tasting trip to Washington state this fall...

050 v1

Strawberry and blackberry shortcakes with Grand Marnier whipped cream

Makes about 10 – 16 shortcakes. Adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

3½ cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

¾ teaspoons salt

6 tablespoons sugar

1½ sticks (12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter), cut into small chunks

1½ cups cold heavy cream

Center a rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 425ºF. Line a large baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the chunks of butter and quickly work it in the flour with your hands or a pastry cutter until the butter is the size of small peas.

Pour the cream over the mixture and mix it gently with a fork until the dough is just combined but there is still flour on the bottom of the bowl. Use your hands to form a rough ball but don’t overwork the dough or it may become tough.

Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out with a rolling pin to about ¾-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch or 3-inch cookie cutter, cut circles out and place on prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Collect the scraps, re-roll and cut more dough circles. Bake for 15 - 18 minutes, turning the cooking sheet around about half way through the baking time. When the shortcakes are light golden brown, remove them from the oven and transfer them to a rack to cool.

When ready to serve, slice each shortcake horizontally in half. Place the bottom half on a serving plate and top with a couple of spoonfuls of the berries and whipped cream. Top with remaining half of shortcake and dust with confectioner’s sugar.

Strawberries and blackberries in Grand Marnier

2 lbs strawberries and blackberries (the proportion is up to you)

¼ cup sugar

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

Wash berries and place on clean kitchen towel to dry. Hull strawberries and then slice them into thirds. Transfer strawberries and blackberries to a bowl. Add sugar and Grand Marnier and mix gently. Set aside to macerate for about an hour.

Grand Marnier whipped cream

2 cups heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

1 tablespoon Grand Marnier

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 teaspoon orange zest

Whip cream and sugar in a bowl until it begins to thicken. Add Grand Marnier, vanilla essence and orange zest.   Whip carefully until it’s thick.  

088 v1

Prijatno!

10 comments:

  1. очень приятно!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Shortcakes/scones are a favourite and your Strawberry Blackberry shortcakes look spectacular. Look how light and flaky your shortcakes are. You can't go wrong with all butter and heavy cream.

    ReplyDelete
  3. These look wonderful! Yummmmmm.......

    ReplyDelete
  4. Cheryl BussMay 12, 2010

    Yummy, so delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Gorgeous shortcake, Dragana. Our local strawberries are just beginning to appear at the farmers market. I live in Oregon wine country and know what you mean about our local blackberries. They grow everywhere and are free for the picking. We do love them.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Where were these babies on Friday? Uh, huh. Nicely done, Champ!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Haha that's funny! Well good to know your mouth was okay even after that. If it was me, I sure would probably be doing the same. Plus I'm really poor at exercising self control especially when it comes to my guilty pleasures!

    I really like your blog, entertaining and best of all, loved the recipe! I want to share this to Foodista readers by just adding the foodista widget at the end of this post, just if you don't mind. This will guide Foodista readers to your blog when they go looking for strawberry shortcake recipes.

    Thanks and keep it up! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. BAS LEPO DA I U NASIM UKUSNIM JELIMA UZIVAJU I DRUGI.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your shortcakes look so fluffy! I'm sure that they must be delicious with the berries!

    ReplyDelete

Welcome to Prijatno! Your comments are important to me. Thanks for taking the time to leave me a note!