Strawberry, Mint and Thyme Shortcake
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon for dusting
- 1/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup chilled heavy cream, plus 2 tablespoons for brushing
- 1 orange, zested
- Berries and Cream:
- 6 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced, or a mix of fresh berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 sprig fresh mint, leaves picked and thinly sliced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
- Whipped Cream:
- 2 cups chilled heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 6 tablespoons sugar
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
For the biscuits: Pulse the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt in the food processor, about 5 seconds. Add the cold butter cubes. Using on/off turns, process until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
In a liquid measure, combine the heavy cream and orange zest. Add the heavy cream-orange mixture to the dry ingredients in the processor and pulse just until moist clumps form. Gather the dough into a ball (with floured hands if the dough is sticky). Gently knead 5 turns on a floured surface. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to 3/4 inch-thick. Using a 3-inch diameter biscuit cutter, cut out 3 rounds. Cook's Note: To prevent the dough from sticking to the biscuit cutter, dip the edge of the cutter in flour before cutting out the biscuits.
Gather the dough scraps and reroll as needed to make 3 more 3-inch rounds.
Arrange the rounds on the prepared sheet. Brush with 2 tablespoons cream and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake the biscuits until pale golden and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 15 minutes. (Biscuits can be made 2 hours ahead.)
For the berries and cream: Combine the sliced strawberries, sugar, mint, thyme and orange zest in a medium bowl. Stir to blend. Let stand at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Cook's Note: For a spirited, adult-friendly version, add a splash of orange liqueur, like Grand Marnier, to the berry mix.
For the whipped cream: Combine the heavy cream, vanilla extract, almond extract and sugar in a food processor or a large bowl and whisk until soft peaks form.
For assembly: Cut the biscuits in half horizontally. Place 1 biscuit bottom in each of 6 bowls. Top each with 1 cup berry mixture, 3 heaping tablespoons whipped cream and then cover with the top portion of the biscuit. Add another dollop of whipped cream, if desired. Go for it!
Recipe courtesy Anne Thornton