Biscuit Bliss | Harvard Common Press, 2004 | Makes 6 shortcakes|
I must say I love this spicy summer shortcake as much as one made with strawberries, serving it regularly when the first luscious freestone Southern peaches come on the market starting in June. Just be extremely careful not to overcook the peaches; they should be perfectly softened and never mushy. Likewise, the biscuits should be soft inside and just crusty enough to provide a textural contrast to the soft peaches and whipped cream.—James Villas
Active time: 30 minutes | Total time: 55 minutes.
Spiced Peach Shortcakes Recipe
- 5 medium-size ripe but firm peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon pure almond or vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- Milk for brushing
- Whipped cream for topping
1. To make the topping, in a large, heavy saucepan combine the peaches, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, almond extract, and lemon juice and stir till well blended. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover, and cook over medium-low heat till the peaches are just soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
3. To make the shortcake, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, granulated sugar, and salt, add the cream, and stir just till a soft dough forms. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead about 8 times.
4. Pat out the dough 1/2 inch thick and cut out rounds with a 3-inch biscuit cutter. Pat the scraps together and cut out more rounds till there are 6 in all.
5. Arrange the rounds on a large baking sheet about 1 inch apart, brush the tops with milk, and bake in the center of the oven till golden, about 15 minutes. Let the biscuits cool.
6. Split the biscuits in half, arrange the bottom halves split side up on 6 dessert plates, and mound equal amounts of the peaches on top of each. Top each mound with the other biscuit half and a generous dollop of whipped cream. Serve immediately.
Spiced peach shortcakes recipe © 2004 James Villas. Photo © 2004 Alexandra Grablewski. All rights reserved.