Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Strawberry Shortcake w/ Lemon Cream Cheese Shortcake Biscuits

Boy oh boy it has been quite some time since I did a dessert post! Well, this dish was too lovely not to share, so here I present to you my twist on strawberry shortcake.

One of the best foods this time of year is berries. Summertime berries, particularly strawberries, are best cooked as little as possible. This recipe requires they be macerated, but they're otherwise left alone in their strawberry goodness. They're a lovely accompaniment to the rich and citrus-y cream cheese lemon shortbread biscuits. Completing the dish is some easy to whip up gin spiked whipped cream. I admit that these shortbread biscuits are quite decadent, but the dough freezes well, so there's no need to make them all at once. And biscuit sized shortcakes means smaller portions. Less guilt? Hopefully. Once you taste this version of the dessert I'm betting calories will be the last thing on your mind.

Strawberry Shortcake w/ Lemon Cream Cheese Biscuits

For the biscuits:

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar + 1 Tablespoon for biscuit topping*
1 egg, beaten to a froth
1/2 cup butter
1/3 + 1 Tablespoon half n half
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 egg beaten for eggwash

For the whipped cream:

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 ounce gin
1 teaspoon sugar, syrup or honey (optional)

For the strawberries:

1 pint strawberries, cleaned and sliced
juice of one orange
1 teaspoon sugar*

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar; set aside.
3. In a medium bowl add half n half to the frothy egg, then cream cheese. Beat gently until incorporated.
4. Fold butter into dry ingredients, then mix in wet ingredients until just combined.
5. Mix together strawberries, 1 teaspoon sugar and orange juice and set aside.
6. Combine heavy cream, gin and sugar in a bowl and beat with a whisk or hand mixer until the mixture forms stiff peaks. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
7. form dough into a ball and turn it out onto floured work surface and pat out to roughly 2 1/2" thick. Cut into biscuits and lay out on a parchment lined cookie sheet with about 2" in between each biscuit. Brush tops with eggwash and sprinkle with sugar.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
9. Allow biscuits to cool for about 5 minutes. Remove whipped cream from refrigerator and whip briefly if it has lost some stiffness.
10. Cut biscuits in half and spread macerated strawberries over the inside. Add a layer of whipped cream and top with upper half of biscuit. Drizzle strawberry juice over biscuit and serve.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and I welcome your feedback!

*I like to use evaporated cane juice sugar, the molasses content of which is like super light brown sugar, even lighter than turbinado sugar; for the biscuit topping

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