This red, white and blue shortcake fills a tall order
Are you looking for a colorful, patriotic dessert for your Fourth of July festivities? Something that can be prepped ahead and assembled just before it’s time to serve? Something sweet enough for the kids, yet not too sugary for the adults?
This Independence Day variation of the classic strawberry shortcake just might be the ticket.
In this red, white and blue recipe, fresh macerated berries, homemade whipped cream and shortcake are presented beautifully in wide-mouth mason jars.
Independence Day Shortcake
Makes about 8
For the shortcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
12 tablespoons butter, cold (11⁄2 sticks) cubed
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1⁄2 cup cold heavy cream
1 egg beaten, plus 2 tablespoons milk for egg wash
For macerated berries:
3 pints fresh berries — strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and/or blackberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1⁄3 cup sugar
For whipped cream:
2 cups whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄4 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, sift the flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and salt. Using the paddle attachment on low speed, mix in the butter until it’s pea-sized. Combine eggs and heavy cream in a measuring cup. With mixer on low, add to the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
The dough will be sticky.
On a well-floured surface, roll the dough to about 1⁄2-inch thick using a rolling pin. Use a 2-inch cookie cutter to cut about 16 shortcakes. Place them on a prepared sheet pan. Brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until tops are browned and the inside are fully baked. Allow to cool on the sheet pan.
Prepare your berries by tossing them in a bowl with lemon juice and sugar. Let them macerate for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.
For the whipped cream, place the whipping cream, vanilla and sugar in a bowl and mix at medium speed until cream is fluffy but not too firm.
Once the shortcakes have cooled and the berries have produced sufficient juice, begin to assemble the dessert into the mason jars or a substitute vessel of your choice.
Begin by splitting the shortcake crossways with a serrated knife. Place the bottom half into the mason jar and top with berries and whip cream. Repeat the process for a total of 2 shortcakes per jar.
Finish with a shortcake top, a dollop of whipped cream and additional berries to garnish. Serve immediately or keep for a short while in the refrigerator.
Phil Newton is a Galveston baker/cook. He’s the owner/operator of Stiglich Corner with partner Cindy Roberts.