One of the joys of summer is the taste of fresh berries! Choose your favorites for this simple recipe. Sugar the berries the night before, bake the biscuits early (in the cool of the morning) and enjoy the shortcake for a decadent summer breakfast — it doesn’t get any better than this!
2 pints fresh berries (any combination of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries )
¼ to ½ cup sugar
2 ½ cups unbleached flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 ½ tsp. cream of tartar
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ cup (1 stick) butter
2/3 cup buttermilk
½ pint whipping cream
The night before:
Rinse berries in a colander and put into a bowl. Sprinkle generously with sugar to taste, using more if berries are tart. (This will make syrup as it sits overnight in the refrigerator, and the syrup/juice is important to the shortcake, so don’t skimp!) Cover and chill overnight.
The next morning:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a large baking sheet.
Mix flour, 2 Tbsp. sugar, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. (If you don’t have a pastry cutter, you can do this with your hands – it’s very satisfying!) Beat together buttermilk and egg just until blended and stir in to the flour mixture. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead a few times, just until smooth. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a circle about ½” thick. Transfer to greased baking sheet. Cut into eight to ten wedges with a large sharp knife. Brush top with milk and sprinkle with additional sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly.
Whip the cream to soft peaks. Split each biscuit and put onto a plate. Stir berries and spoon them over the biscuit, along with their juice, and top with whipped cream. Yum! (Great with coffee!)