Aren't 3 day weekends the best? It's Sunday but I'm not dreading going back to work because I get a whole extra day off tomorrow--woohoo!!! I slept in a bit this morning and then eventually headed out to the farmer's market; strawberry season is in full swing and I could not resist and came back with a LOT of strawberries and some asparagus. On Friday, we got out early so I headed down to Chinatown and came back with (yes, more) mangoes and cherries, so I am awash in yummy things to eat right now (well, except for the watermelon that I put in the freezer to chill quickly and then forgot about--whoops!). Have I mentioned before that this is my favorite time of the year?
Anyway, one of the things I like to do on leisurely weekends is to have a nice breakfast. During the work week, my main goal is speed (I'm chronically late to work) so I usually just eat some yogurt or leftovers, or if I'm really running late, I'll grab a bagel to eat at my desk. But since I have plenty of time (and fruit!) this weekend...shortcake it is! I made a half recipe of cream biscuits, which are so easy and fast to put together, you can be eating in 30 minutes, and that includes the time to prepare your fruit.
Look how high these biscuits rise! I would have used strawberries for my shortcake but, um, I ate them all. Cherries are nothing to sneeze at, though! Just pit, mash slightly with a bit of sugar, and let sit while you make your biscuits. When they're done, split them open, top with a few spoonfuls of cherries, plop on fresh whipped cream (as much as you want!) and enjoy. Ah, love the weekends! Hope you are all having a fabulous one too!
3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup cream
melted butter to brush on top of the biscuits
coarse sugar, optional
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Sift together the flours (you can use all AP flour, but the cake flour makes for a more tender biscuit), salt, and baking powder into a medium bowl. Pour in the cream and stir until the dough just comes together. You may need a tablespoon more if you live somewhere very dry, but the goal is to be able to squeeze the dough and have it come together without falling apart. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat out into a rectangle. Fold into thirds (like a letter), and flatten back out into a rough rectangle about 1/2" to 3/4" thick. Cut biscuits with a 2" round cutter and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Pile the scraps together and cut out more biscuits. I get 5 2" biscuits out of this recipe. Brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter; if you're making shortbread, sprinkle a bit of coarse sugar on top.
Bake 13-15 minutes, or until golden brown and crusty. If you're making shortcake, cool for 5 minutes before splitting and filling with fruit and whipped cream. Serve with tea (and extra whipped cream--hey, it's the weekend, enjoy it!)