Red White and Blue – Berries & Cream Shortcakes

Homemade shortcakes are the icing-on-the-cake for fresh berries. Making shortcakes is similar to biscuits or scones. It’s just a quick-stirred dough that’s scooped, or patted into a round and cut into wedges, or cut with cookie cutters of your choice.  This shortcake is lightly scented with lemon zest for a little zing,  and some of the strawberries are pureed with a splash of lemon juice.  My daughter’s birthday is on the 4th, and we’ll be celebrating with these star spangled shortcakes and Blackberry Mojitos that I developed for Driscoll’s berries. 
Happy 4th of July!

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Red White and Blueberry Star Shortcakes
Makes 8 servings
Prep and bake time: 35 minutes
Both the shortcakes and strawberry sauce freeze beautifully, so double the recipes if you like!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons raw or coarse sugar crystals (optional)
1 package (16 ounces) strawberries, hulled
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 package (6 ounces) blackberries
1 package (6 ounces) blueberries 
1 package (6 ounces) raspberries
1/2 pint whipping cream, lightly sweetened and whipped

Preheat oven to 400ºF.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with cooking spray.
To make shortcakes:
Combine flour, granulated sugar, zest, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl.
Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Stir in buttermilk just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead gently 3-4 times. Pat or roll to 1/2-inch thickness, dusting lightly with flour to prevent sticking.
Cut 8 stars or circles using a 3-4-inch diameter cookie cutter. Place on prepared pan. Moisten tops with water and sprinkle with sugar crystals.
Bake 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Place cakes on a wire rack to cool.

To make strawberry sauce: Blend half the strawberries, powdered sugar and lemon juice in a blender until smooth. Can be made in advance and refrigerated. Slice and reserve remaining strawberries to serve with shortcakes.
To serve, using a serrated knife, cut shortcakes in half horizontally. Place bottom halves on dessert plates. Top each with a dollop of whipped cream. Surround with blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and reserved sliced strawberries. Drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons strawberry sauce and add shortcake top. Serve.

An original recipe by Rosemary Mark for Driscoll’s.
Photography: Noel Barnhurst      Styling: George Dolese

Kitchen Notes:
Store berries in the refrigerator, unwashed, and use within a few days of purchase. Place in a colander and rinse gently with cool water  just before serving.

It only takes a few minutes to whip  real dairy cream and there’s no substitute for the taste of real whipped cream with fresh berries.  About 2 tablespoons sugar lightly sweetens 1/2 pint whipping cream, or adjust to your preference for sweetness. 

Cream whips to double it’s volume. ie: 1 cup cream (1/2 pint) whips to 2 cups. For best results, take cream straight from the refrigerator and whip in a chilled bowl.

To download coupons  (scroll to bottom of page) for discounts on real dairy products .

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