These spiced peach shortcakes call for a classic baking powder biscuit to be filled with fresh peaches that have been simmered with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and lemon juice. On top is a dollop of fresh whipped cream.
You’re familiar with classic shortcake made with ethereally airy biscuits, strawberries so fresh they make the soul ache, and dollops of gently whipped cream, yes? No one ever said shortcake was limited to berries. And if someone did, well, where’s your rebellious streak? These unconventional spiced peach shortcakes are something of a surprise—and not just in terms of the sweetly spiced stone fruit but the sweet-but-not-too-sweet baking powder biscuits. (We have a penchant for sprinkling a little turbinado sugar over the dough before baking to ensure extra sweet, extra sparkly shortcakes, just ’cause we can.) And even if you find yourself craving the classic strawberry shortcake, we think these slightly sweet biscuits would work admirably in that capacity as well. Originally published June 3, 2004.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Spiced Peach Shortcakes
- Quick Glance
- 45 M
- 55 M
- Makes 6 to 8 shortcakes
Special Equipment: 3-inch (8-cm) biscuit cutter
- For the peach filling
- 5 medium ripe but firm peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2 inch (12 mm) pieces
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- For the biscuits
- 2 cups all-purpose flour , plus more for the work surface
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- Milk, for brushing the biscuit tops
- Whipped cream, for dolloping
- Make the peach filling
- 1. In a large, heavy saucepan off the heat, gently combine the peaches, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, almond or vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat, cover, and cook just until the peaches are soft but not mushy, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the ripeness of your peaches. Remove from the heat and let cool.
- Make the biscuits
- 2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
- 3. In a large 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. Gently pat the dough to 1/2 inch thickness and cut out rounds with a 3-inch biscuit cutter. Pat the dough scraps together and cut out more rounds. You should have 6 to 8 rounds.
- 4. Arrange the rounds about 1 inch apart on a baking sheet. Lightly brush the tops of the rounds with milk and bake until golden, 13 to 17 minutes. Transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to cool.
- Assemble the shortcakes
- 5. Split each cooled biscuit in half and arrange the bottom halves, split side up, on individual dessert plates. Mound equal amounts of the peaches on each biscuit and sandwich with the other half of the biscuit half. Smother with a generous dollop whipped cream. Serve immediately.
Recipe Testers Reviews
Well, this was a pleasure. I managed to make this in no time. The most time I spent was peeling the peaches and they weren't as ripe as I would like so pitting them was more of a saga than I care to admit. It was completely worth it though. My house smelled of peaches and cinnamon all day, and there is nothing to be mad at about that!
I used almond extract and will again, I just love what it brought to the fruit. It was so aromatic and bright! It took me a bit longer to than 15 minutes to cook the peaches to the desired texture, but I had windows and fans going which can effect the cooking time of things on my stovetop. I wasn't sure I would be excited about a biscuit base without butter in the recipe, and I was delighted to discover that I was wrong! The biscuit is fluffy, but sturdy enough to hold its own under the fruit and whipped cream that accompanied the dessert.
We got exactly 8 biscuits from the recipe and plenty of fruit. So this was eaten for a couple nights. And was just as wonderful the following night. Even with cold peaches. If or when I make this again, I might try sprinkling a bit of sugar on the brushed tops of the biscuits before they go in the oven. But otherwise I wouldn't change a thing about this. Unless I can get someone to come peel peaches for me next time... I hate peeling! (Still worth it.)
I used almond extract and LOVED it. I served the shortcakes at room temperature the first night. And I served the peaches cold the second night.
This recipe is quick and easy to make. The flavor is good and the portions are huge. (I actually think you could make 8 rather than 6 shortcakes.)
The shortcake recipe is almost exactly the same as Marion Cunningham's cream biscuit recipe. My mixture was a bit dry so I added a touch more cream. (Cunningham's recipe calls for up to 1/2 cup more cream, but I didn't need that much.) The peach filling takes about 10 minutes to make, which is halfway through the baking of the shortcakes. So before doing anything else, I put everything for the peaches in the pot and let it sit there for the flavors to mingle. After the shortcakes were in the oven, then I cooked the peaches. I would prefer a little more spice, actually. The whipped cream is a great addition.
The perfect summer dessert which brings out the best in fresh peaches with a light touch of spice. The biscuits were delicately sweetened, a perfect match to any summer fruit and cream, of course!
After whisking the flours with the suggested amount of cream, I decided it was a bit dry and added an additional 25 ml of cream. It was just right for a soft formable dough. I placed the dough on to a floured wooden cutting board. I only had to fold the dough in half 2 times, it was nice and smooth with no clumps.
I baked the biscuits for a total of 17 minutes until nice and golden on the edges. I served the biscuits at room temperature, they were perfect and delicious.