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All hail the queen of summer desserts! Classic strawberry shortcake is 4th of July ready with the addition of plump blueberries and a little zing from balsamic vinegar and herbs.
Happy 4th of July! I just realized that two of my favorite holidays are numerical: the 4th of July and Cinco de Mayo. They have more in common than numbers though, they are two days associated with pure joy and celebration. C’mon…fireworks, good food and festive cocktails? Is it any surprise they’re my favorites?
Because the 4th falls on a Tuesday this year, it’s actually been a bit of an extended holiday for us. We’ve been eating, drinking and celebrating since Friday. That’s a lot of festive food and drink.
It’s always a balance, these holidays. Especially the holidays that fall in the warm months when we’re entertaining at the beach. I want to eek out every last possible minute of sand and sun, but there are hungry mouths to feed and cocktails to mix. So, our menus are all about quick grilling, a little prepping the night before, big salads and fresh, seasonal produce that doesn’t need much fanfare to taste delicious.
A classic strawberry shortcake is the perfect end to these easy meals. Or in this case a blueberry and strawberry shortcake. We’ve got the festive nailed as in red, white and blue. It’s practically a little slice of America on a plate. The fresh and seasonal…well, summer berries are at their peak so, bam, nailed it again. And for a little extra pizzazz I macerated the berries in a bit of sugar and balsamic vinegar and then stirred in a sprinkle of fresh herbs. The result is bright, sweet and zingy.
The fluffy biscuits can be baked earlier in the day or even the night before, and the whipped cream will hold in the frig for a couple hours before serving. Put it all together and it’s like you can actually taste summer. I hope you’re enjoying a relaxing, easy holiday and are squeezing every second of fun out the day. And I hope you enjoy this quintessential summer dessert that will no doubt bring even more sparkle to the 4th!
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cake flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 4 Tbsp vegetable shortening, cold, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1 Tbsp turbinado sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 1 pint blueberries
- 1 Tbsp fresh basil, shredded
- 1 Tbsp fresh mint, shredded
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/3 cup confectioners sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk together the flours, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add the butter and shortening and mix with your fingers until you have coarse meal.
Stir in the buttermilk and cream until just combined.
Turn the dough onto a lightly flour surface and knead until the dough just comes together.
Lightly roll the dough to 1 inch thickness and cut out rounds with a 3 inch cookie cutter (flat or scalloped edge). Be sure you don't twist the cutter, just press down and pull up to insure that you get a good rise.Gently gather and reform the scraps to cut the last two biscuits.
Place biscuits on the prepared sheet at least 1 inch apart. Brush with the melted butter and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
Bake until risen and golden, about 20-22 mins. Cool on a wire rack.
While the biscuits are baking, prepare the berries. Whisk the sugar and vinegar together. Fold in the berries and let stand for at least 15 mins.
Stir in basil and mint.
Whip the heavy cream with a whisk or with the whip attachment of an electric mixer.
Beat until you have soft peaks, then gradually add the sugar while whipping. Add the vanilla. Continue whipping until you have stiff peaks.
Halve each biscuit with a fork. Spoon some berries over the bottom half, then top with a scoop of whipped cream. Place the top half of the biscuit on the whipped cream and serve immediately.