Baltimore Sun photo by Lloyd Fox
May 12, 2009
This decadent dessert takes advantage of whatever berries are in season. The original recipe calls for strawberries, which mix well with the light almond and citrus flavors in the shortcake, but you can also use whatever berry you can find. Dollops of whipped cream finish it off.
For the shortcakes
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 large egg
1/2 cup (2 ounces) sliced almonds
For the topping
6 cups cleaned, stemmed, sliced strawberries (about 3 pints)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a baking sheet.
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the orange zest. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the whipping cream and set aside. In a small bowl and using a fork, beat the whipping cream and egg to blend them. Pour the cream mixture over the flour mixture. Stir the mixture together until a soft dough forms, and the flour is incorporated.
Gather the dough up and form it into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll or pat the ball of dough into an 8-inch circle and use a 2-inch or larger round cutter to cut out shortcakes. Place them 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Gather the scraps together, pat out and cut the remaining shortcakes, placing them on the baking sheet. Use a pastry brush to brush the reserved cream over the top of each. Sprinkle with sliced almonds, pressing them gently onto the shortcakes. Bake about 16 minutes, until the bottoms are light brown. Cool on the baking sheet.
For the topping, in a large bowl, stir the sliced strawberries and granulated sugar together. Let sit for 15 minutes, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the cream, confectioners' sugar, orange zest, almond extract and vanilla until soft peaks form, about 1 1/2 minutes.
Use a fork to split each shortcake in half horizontally and place on an individual plate, cut side up. Spoon a dollop of whipped cream over each half. Spoon strawberries including some of the juice over the cream. Top with additional whipped cream. Serve.
Per serving: 503 calories, 33 grams fat, 18 grams saturated fat, 129 milligrams cholesterol, 8 grams protein, 48 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 253 milligrams sodium