Thursday, March 20, 2014

winter shortcake

looky here! it's a winter shortcake.
what constitutes a winter shortcake? there are 3 components. winter fruit, a heartier cozier biscuit, and cream.

these are whole wheat brown butter biscuits.
remember that new flour mill in town, Grist and Toll? i snagged a bag of their 'Sonora' whole grain pastry flour and used it to make these here biscuits.
(so light. so delicate. so nutty.)

they are good all on their own. eat one for breakfast with butter and an espresso. 
then later slice one in half, slice up some fruits, make the damn shortcake, eat the damn shortcake. 

it's pretty much a dessert hamburger that you eat with a fork.

See? Strawberry is not the sole dictator of the shortcake universe. 

Whole Wheat Brown Butter Biscuits
adapted from King Arthur Flour

2 cups whole wheat grain flour or white whole wheat flour
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup (4 oz) chilled brown butter
3/4 cup heavy cream (or buttermilk)
1 egg yolk (save white to brush the tops)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
(optional: 1/4-1/2 cup dried fruit, candied ginger, etc)
sugar for topping

mix the dry ingredients in a bowl or the bowl of a food processor. cut in the butter with a pastry blender, bench scrapers (my favorite), a few pulses of the food processor, or even a fork. whisk together cream, egg yolk, and vanilla. stir into the dry mixture until a dough forms. transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead in the dried fruit if using). 

pat the dough into a disk about 1 1./2 inches thick. stamp out circles with a biscuit cutter, or cut into squares. transfer circles to a parchment lined baking sheet. refrigerate for 15 minutes (or put it in the freezer for 5 minutes). preheat the oven to 375 degreesF. brush the tops with the egg white and sprinkle sugar on the tops. 
bake for about 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. 

Whipped Cream: 1 cup heavy cream + 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar + small splash of vanilla 
beat til soft peaks

blood orange/any citrus segments
kumquat, sliced thinly

To Assemble: slice a biscuit through. place bottom half on plate. top with a few nice dollops of the cream. top that with a mix of your fruits. top it the whole thing with the other half of the biscuit. 

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