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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Peach Shortcake on Ginger Biscuits

Biscuit shortcakes are the way to go for someone, like me, who doesn't like sugar overload. The focus becomes the fruit and, as you can see by the photo, the cream. I've posted strawberry shortcakes and this recipe is similar except for the addition of candied ginger which is worth seeking out or making it yourself. Peaches and ginger seem made for each other.


Peach Shortcake on Ginger Biscuits

Adapted from Local Flavors:  Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets by Deborah Madison
Serves 6-7

The biscuits:

1 c whole wheat pastry flour and 1 c unbleached flour (my preference) or 2 c unbleached flour
1 T sugar
1/2 teas salt
2 teas baking powder
1/2 teas baking soda
1/2 c unsalted butter, chilled or, even better, frozen
1/2 c chopped candied ginger
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teas vanilla extract
1/2 c buttermilk, milk, or cream
1 egg white, beaten
granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Stir the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Grate the frozen butter through large holes  of a cheese grater over the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, break up the butter in the flour mixture until it is the size of small peas. Stir in the candied ginger.

Mix the egg, vanilla and buttermilk. Add to the dry ingredients and stir just to moisten. If it seems too dry, add 1 T more buttermilk. The texture will be shaggy and barely moist.

Turn the dough out onto a floured counter or pastry cloth. Knead with a light touch a few times, then roll or pat the dough into a rectangle about 3/4 inch thick. Cut 6 biscuits with a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter and gather scraps to form another. (You can also use a glass to cut the biscuits.) Place on an oiled baking sheet and baste with the egg white and sprinkle with 1/2-1 teas (or so) sugar. Bake until golden, 12-15 minutes. Let cool.

The macerated peaches:

6-7 large peaches, peeled and sliced or coarsely diced
1-2 T sugar

Mix and set aside while peaches release their juices.

The whipped cream:

1 1/2 c whipping cream
1/4 teas almond extract
1 1/2 T sugar, optional

Mix ingredients in a small bowl (chill together in freezer for 5 minutes with the beaters if your kitchen is hot). Bring beaters to high speed and whip until cream holds peaks.

To serve:

Halve the biscuits. Spoon the fruit and its juices over the bottom half. Add a dollop of the cream and cover with the biscuit top.


There are only two of us in this household, so I usually freeze the extra biscuits but for no longer than a month or two. If you aren't using all your biscuits, macerate one peach per serving and divide the whipping cream recipe accordingly. Let me strongly encourage you to use real whipping cream.

High altitudes (up to 5,000 feet) don't seem to make much difference with these biscuits.

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