I didn’t know you could make a shortcake without that hollow bowl of sponge-cake until I was in college.
And even up until then, those packages of the spongey dishes sitting beside the strawberries in the grocery store always seemed so fancy to me. That was how you served shortcake to a guest. Store bought whipped cream-ish stuff, fresh strawberries, and a cake bowl that felt almost like styrofoam.
But then I learned what a real shortcake was, thanks to a small group meeting one night. Our hosts’ wife made homemade strawberry shortcakes with freshly whipped cream and little pieces of homemade dough.
At first I didn’t know how to eat this stuff. This wasn’t a shortcake, right? I had never had anything that looked like this.
But I tried it.
I loved it.
And I haven’t bought those cake bowls ever again.
I haven’t found a recipe that looks like her dough base, but over the years, I have figured out that I really like making shortcakes with homemade biscuits. They make for a buttery, crumbly base that goes so well with fresh fruit and whipped cream.
After buying 8 pounds of local peaches last week, I’ve been finding ways to use them up. Five pounds are frozen, three pounds have been eaten. And for some reason, I tie the quality of my summer to how many peaches I’ve eaten. This summer has definitely been a good one.
Biscuit or pie dough, just make these shortcakes. The peaches are tossed with honey and the cream whipped with bourbon for a little punch of extra flavor.
In fact, if you don’t want to make the biscuits, just toss some fresh peaches with cream and a splash of bourbon.
You won’t be sorry.
Buttermilk Peach Shortcakes with Bourbon Cream
Makes: 8-10 shortcakes
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 6 Tbsp butter, chilled and diced
- 1 to 1.5 cups buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- In a large bowl, mix the flours, baking powder, salt, and sugar together.
- Cut the butter into the flour mixture (using either your hands, a fork, or a pastry cutter) until all the bigger pieces of butter are incorporated and the flour mix has the texture of cornmeal.
- Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in 1 cup of buttermilk. Slowly stir the dough together, being careful not to work the dough too much. If your dough isn’t coming together, add more buttermilk as needed. You want the dough to just come together and be a little sticky – not dry.
- Sprinkle some flour on a flat surface and pat out the shortcake dough.
- Using a large biscuit butter or a drinking glass, cut out the shortcakes and place on a baking sheet.
- Once all your shortcakes are cut out, bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
- 3-4 medium peaches, peeled and sliced
- 2 Tbsp honey
- Toss sliced peaches with honey in a bowl.
- Let the peaches sit, covered, in the bowl until ready to serve shortcakes.
- 1.5 cups heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp bourbon
- Pour cream into a large, chilled bowl and whip until the cream is fluffy.
- Blend sugar and bourbon into the cream.
- Keep refrigerated until ready to use.