Shortcakes represent simple, no-fuss goodness of many desserts gone by. Light and delicate “cakes” filled with berries and cream make this treat a classic for all the right reasons. An accent of decadent, aged balsamic takes it over the top for the absolute best in sweet indulgences.
Berry & Balsamic Shortcakes
Fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
Whipped cream (recipe follows)
Aged balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Make the sweetened strawberries: Hull and quarter strawberries; toss in a bowl with sugar. Let stand until syrupy, tossing occasionally. Can be made up to 1 day ahead, covered and refrigerated.
In a food processor, combine flour, butter, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt; process until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk; pulse just until moistened, 4 or 5 times. Do not overprocess.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface; with floured hands, gently pat dough into a rectangle.
Dust a large knife with flour; cut dough into 8 squares. Transfer to a baking sheet; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes; cool on baking sheet. To serve, split biscuits with a serrated knife; layer with whipped cream, berries and balsamic vinegar.
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pour heavy cream into a large bowl and begin whisking on low speed with a mixer. As cream develops volume, increase speed to high and slowly add sugar and vanilla. Beat until firm peaks form.