ALISA HUNTSMAN / LOVELESS CAFE' PASTRY CHEF & COOKBOOK AUTHOR
Raspberry Peach Shortcake with Sweet Biscuits
Note: Rose water, our favorite secret ingredient for red berries, is easy to find and brings out the essence of the fruit. Again, this is not the recipe for the famous Loveless biscuits either, but these are delicious in their own right.
Sweet Biscuits (recipe follows)
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 teaspoons rose water
1 inch of vanilla bean, split lengthwise in half
2 cups sliced peeled peaches (1 1/2 to 2 pounds fresh peaches)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
Edible flowers for garnish (optional)
1. Split 6 biscuits horizontally with a fork or a knife.
2. In a bowl, combine 1/3 cup of the sugar with the orange zest and rose water. With the tip of a small knife, scrape out the seeds of the vanilla bean and add to the sugar. Rub with your fingertips to blend. Add the peaches and toss gently. Allow the peaches to macerate for about 1 hour.
3. Shortly before serving, in a chilled bowl with chilled beaters, whip the cream with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and the vanilla extract until soft peaks form.
4. To assemble the shortcakes, place the bottoms of the biscuits on each of 6 dessert plates. Spoon the peaches and any syrup in the bowl over the biscuit bottoms. Add 1/4 cup raspberries to each. Top with a generous dollop of the whipped cream and finish them off with the biscuit tops. Garnish with a small rosebud or other edible flower, if you wish. Serves 6
Makes ten to twelve 3-inch biscuits
4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1.2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 cups heavy cream
1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper on a silicone mat.
2. Place the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and stir to combine. Sprinkle the butter cubes over the flour and cut them in using 2 knives, a pastry blender, or your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
3. Drizzle the cream around the bowl and stir to form a soft dough. Scrape the dough out onto a floured surface and pat it into a 1/2-inch-thick slab. Use a 3-inch round cutter to cut the biscuits and place them about 2 inches apart on the prepared pan. Rework the scraps once to make more biscuits. Sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar.
4. Bake for 14 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before using. ENJOY!
Excerpted from Desserts From the Famous Loveless Café by Alisa Huntsman (Artisan Books)Copyright 2011