pâtisserie natalie

March 15, 2009

Mixed Berry Shortcakes


Wow. Busy weekend. Barely a moment to sit down, but always time to bake. I decided on mixed berry shortcakes because I actually have never made any kind of shortcake before. I've had it plenty of times, just never made it. I used one of my favorite books, Tartine. The pictures are just gorgeous and the recipes are to die for. I went with mixed berry (strawberry, blueberry & raspberry) because I'm fortunate to live in the Pacific Northwest, where there is an abundance of berry farms so close by.
It actually snowed this morning, which was odd. I want spring to come and I'm hoping by making spring/summer-friendly desserts, it will come just that much sooner.

Berry Shortcake [quatre]

For the shortcake:
From Tartine

2 1/2 cups AP flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
100g unsalted butter; very cold
1 cup heavy cream; very cold
~2 tablespoons sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Butter a baking sheet. To make biscuit, sift flour and baking powder together into a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and salt, whisk together. Cut the butter into small cubes and scatter over dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into dry ingredients. You want to end up with a coarse mixture with pea-sized lumps of butter visible. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in cream. Gently mix the dough together with your hands, but don't overmix. It should look a bit shaggy at this point. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and pat into a smooth ball. Dust the top with flour and roll out gently until 1 inch thick [or thinner, they tend to about double in height]. Using a cutter of your choice, cut out as many of that shape as possible. Gather the scraps, reroll them, and cut out additional shapes. Place the circles on the prepared sheet pan and brush the tops with the cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake the biscuits until tops are golden, 8-12 minutes depending on your oven. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before use. Split lengthwise to serve.

For the berries:

3 cups of washed berries of your choice
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 vanilla beat split and scraped

Cuts sliced berries thinly if needed. Toss with sugar and vanilla bean seeds. Let it sit for 5 minutes at room temperature. Take a sharp knife and cut the mixture. It should look like a compote almost. Place in the refrigerator, 15 minutes before use let sit at room temperature.


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