Shortcakes remind me of the ice cream socials we used to have in my small town when I was growing up. We always had strawberry shortcakes, but now I throw raspberries into my version to make them a little bit fancier and a lot more fun. I also make them free-form-by not using a biscuit cutter, I get cakes that look craggy and knobby, kind of like little toads. But they have a beautiful crumbly texture and act like sponges for the fruit juice without getting soggy. These are SOOOOO delicious that I can hoover a few of them in one sitting!
For the fruit: In a large bowl, toss together the strawberries, raspberries, sugar, orange zest, and orange juice. Let the mixture sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the fruit to release some of its juice.
For the shortcakes: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. In a food processor, combine the flour, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pulse to combine. Toss in the butter, heavy cream, and vanilla and pulse, pulse, pulse until the mixture comes together to form a rough ball; it should look fairly crumbly.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. With lightly floured hands, form the dough into craggy-looking balls, a bit larger than golf balls. They should look a little like toads and DEFINITELY not be perfect. Place the balls on the baking sheet and squish each ball to flatten it some; sprinkle the balls with the remaining tablespoon of sugar.
Put the cakes in the oven and bake for 11 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and let cool.
To assemble: Toss the mint with the fruit and stir to combine. Cut the shortcakes in half equatorially, place the bottom halves on individual plates, and divide the fruit and juice among them. Place a scoop of ice cream on top of the fruit, replace the tops, and serve immediately.
Copyright Cook Like a Rock Star by Anne Burrell with Suzanne Lenzer