Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Different Take on Strawberry Shortcake

Courtesy of my favorite foodie blog: And Now for Something Completely Delicious

     Lemon Shortcakes with Lemon Curd & Berries

I just love Annalise - well her blog anyway. She has awesome photo skills and her pictures make you want to devour her treats on the spot.

Lemon has to be my all-time favorite flavors other than chocolate. The scent of a zested lemon just puts me in a state of true bliss! In the past I have always purchased lemon curd rather than taking the time to make it. I always thought it would be labor intensive, when in fact it is quite easy (and oh so creamy and dreamy!) I may never buy store bought curd again. I so want to make a lime curd next!

The scent of mixing in the lemon zest with the flour was enough to put me in this bliss state; you can imagine what the baked biscuits smell like. I so wish you can smell the aroma in my kitchen right now.

The instructions say to roll the dough out two-inches thick and cut the biscuits into three-inch squares. That would be impossible with the amount of dough I came out with. Not sure if it was a typo in the recipe or not. I would not have been able to get 8 biscuits from those measurements. I rolled my dough out to a 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick and they turned out fine.

These were absolutely wonderful!! Thank you Annalise!

Success meter (1-3): 3

Lemon Shortcakes with Lemon Curd and Berries
Serves 8

Lemon Curd:
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, cubed

Shortcake Biscuits:
1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
3 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
Zest of one large lemon or two small
3 Tbl cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup cold whipping cream, plus more for brushing
1 Tbl coarse or raw sugar

For serving:
1 cup cold whipping cream
4 Tbl sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Pint of Strawberries
Pint of blueberries

For the lemon curd, combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks. When the lemon juice liquid comes to a boil, remove from heat and slowly add to the eggs while whisking continuously. Add in a small stead stream until combined.

Return the mixture to the saucepan and continue to cook on medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Whisk butter into the curd a few cubes at a time, allowing butter to melt between additions. Strain the curd through a mesh strainer into a medium bowl. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.

To make the biscuits, preheat the oven to 375° and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Add the butter and use your finger, a fork, or a pastry blender to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. Add the cream and stir until just combined. Turn out onto a flour surface and lightly knead the dough to incorporate all crumbly bits of dough. Do not over-mix. Stop when the dough is a uniform ball.

Press or lightly roll dough out to about two inches thick and cut into three inch squares; or alternatively use a three inch round biscuit cutter. Place on the prepared sheet pan, leaving one inch between each biscuit. Brush the tops with whipping cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake until tops are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer biscuits to a wire rack to cool completely.

When ready to assemble, prepare the berries. Hull and slice the strawberries, place in a bowl and add two tablespoons of sugar. Stir in the blueberries. Allow to sit while preparing the whipped cream. Whip the heavy whipping cream to soft peaks; add the sugar and vanilla and whip to medium peaks.

To assemble, slice the cooled biscuits in half. Spoon lemon curd on the bottom half of the biscuit, followed by a dollop of whip cream and top with berries. Top this with the remaining half of the biscuit.

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