July 6th, 2012
I love strawberry shortcake. It and tiramisu tie for first place in the race for the title of my favorite dessert. I love it so much that last summer I began experimenting with different types of shortcake + fruit combinations. I got to thinking, “Why isn’t there a shortcake shop like there are ice cream parlors and cupcake boutiques?” There are so many ways to make fruit shortcakes, it can be really mind-boggling!
So last week when I got some truly fantastic blueberries from the farmer’s market, I got the idea for these blueberry cornmeal shortcakes with lemon cream. We ended up eating the whole pint of blueberries in two days, with the exception of a small handful I saved for The Sprout since she loves blueberries! I have to admit, I am not a huge fan of them, but these were just so good I couldn’t stay away!
So this week I bought another pint of blueberries specifically with these shortcakes in mind. I thought blueberries and lemon go really well together, and blueberries are also good with cornmeal, so this seemed like a natural combination. And you know what? cornmeal shortcakes are one of the most successful culinary experiments I’ve ever tried (another being hazelnut shortcakes but that’s a different story for a different day).
If you like blueberries as much as our four-year-old does, you’ll love these shortcakes. She got so excited watching me whip the cream and assemble that she was nearly squealing. And as far as desserts go, it’s not too unhealthy. So get yourself a freshly-picked pint and enjoy these blueberry cornmeal shortcakes this summer!
Blueberry Cornmeal Shortcakes
Makes 8 shortcakes
- 1 pint fresh blueberries
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- ½ c sugar
- Rinse the blueberries the dump them in a medium bowl.
- Sprinkle blueberries with lemon juice, then toss lightly to coat.
- Sprinkle sugar over blueberries, then use the measuring cup to toss them and gently smash down to squash some of them and release the juice.
- Let blueberries sit in the refrigerator to macerate half an hour while you make the shortcakes.
- 1 ½ c all-purpose flour
- ½ c finely-ground cornmeal
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 4 tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch chunks
- 2 tbsp shortening (or butter if you prefer)
- ¾ c half & half or light cream
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl.
- Cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Stir in half and half or cream until completely moistened.
- Shape dough into 8 discs with your hands and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. The dough should be similar to cookie dough, but if it’s too sticky, add a little more cornmeal.
- Bake at 450° for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown, then let cool.
- When shortcakes are cooled, top with macerated blueberries and a big dollop of lemon cream.
For Lemon Whipped Cream
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 c heavy cream
- 2 tbsp sugar
- Place the zest, cream, and sugar in blender or food processor (I use a Magic Bullet).
- Blend until the cream is whipped and fluffy.