This one’s from my east coast correspondents, Amanda and Zarin, who chose to celebrate the 4th a couple of days early. This gorgeous dessert was just too cute not to post, even if it will probably come too late for any of us to make it. Here in the Superspark household, we’re taking a holiday off from cooking (well, except for a couple of loaves for no-knead bread and a batch of banana bread pudding) and letting our friends slave away over a hot barbeque for us.
I seem to remember the girls telling me this was the cover of Martha Stewart Living this month and I can see why, given its novelty- I’d take this over a tired old flag sheetcake anyday! They served it with vanilla ice cream (homemade from The Perfect Scoop) and said that something moist, like ice cream or whipped cream is a perfect complement to the shortbread (which they reported was very good and not too salty or dry as often happens with shortbreads). They also suggested that it might be fun to try individual shortcakes (thus avoiding tempting leftovers and breaking the bank on buying berries) with a single star cutout in each one. (And frankly, using a different cutout shape and a different color palette, this dessert would be perfectly lovely for other occasions, too!) I can’t wait to try this one myself!
Happy 4th of July, everyone! Enjoy!
Summer shortcake (serves 10 or so)
2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 cup buttermilk, plus more for brushing
raw sugar or fine sanding sugar, for dusting
2 pints blueberries
2 pints hulled strawberries
3 tbsp sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. To make the biscuits: preheat oven 450. In a food processor, pulse flour,
granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined. Add
butter, and pulse until largest pieces are the size of peas. Add buttermilk and
pulse until dough comes together. Transfer to a bowl, and gently knead into a
ball. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rest in the fridge at least an hour (or
Note: This dough is extremely sticky and needs serious refridgeration before
being used to lessen the stickiness. So it’s probably necessary to chill
it overnight, which is what the girls did, reporting it was basically
unworakble when they first made it.
2. Divide dough in half. Working with one portion at a time on a lightly floured
work sruface, pat into a disk, and then roll into a 10-inch round. Transfer to
baking sheets lined with parchment paper
Note: Because the dough is sticky you probably have to use more than a lightly
floured surface- they floured it a lot and added some to the dough as they kneaded
it a bit before rolling.
3. Brush biscuits with buttermilk. Generously sprinkle raw or sanding sugar over
tops and sides. Brush sugar off of parchment. Bake until dough has risen
slightly and is golden brown, 12-15 minutes (if bottom turns brown too quickly,
reduce temperature to 400). Leave biscuits on sheets. Using a 2 1/2 inch star cutter,
cut out (but do not remove) 7 stars from one biscuit while still warm. Let cool.
4. Using a paring knife, carefully remove the star shapes. Reserve for snacking
or another use.
5. To make the filling: combine bluberries and strawberries and two tablespoons
sugar. Let rest until juicy, about 10 mins.
6. Just before serving, beat the cream to make whipped cream. Add remaining
tablespoon sugar and vanilla.
7. To assemble the cake: place uncut biscuit on a large plate. Spoon half the
berries on top of the biscuit, then spread the whipped cream over them. Top
with all but 1/2 cup berries. Make sure the surface is even so that it will support
the top biscuit and prevent it from breaking. Carefully place the cutout
biscuit on top. Fill star cutouts with reserved berries. Serve immediately, or
refrigerate, uncovered, for up to 3 hours.