Perfect Shortcake means something different for each person, but if you give this recipe a chance, you just might agree this is the Perfect Shortcake.
I grew up thinking shortcake was a totally different creation. To me, store-bought sponge shortcake was what made strawberry shortcake so delicious, and I actually didn’t know it was served any other way until the first time my mother-in-law, Harriett, served it. She used her mother’s recipe and the shortcake looked like biscuits. I was pretty confused (and worried) when I saw her pouring precious strawberries over them. I have to say, it was very good, but I still loved my soggy shortcake best.
When my children were growing up, I used Harriett’s recipe a couple of times but, usually, I used Sarah Lee Pound Cake as the base for shortcake desserts.
One month ago I decided to take up my own challenge to create the Perfect Shortcake recipe. After three tries, I finally got it just right.
This shortcake is mildly sweet with a tender crumb. It has a slight crunch on the outside and a sprinkle of coarse sugar on top. It is a cross between a biscuit and shortbread and I’m so happy with the result and hope you will be, too.
Perfect Shortcake takes Strawberry Shortcake and Peach Shortcake to the next level – the “This is the best shortcake I have ever had” level. Now I’m not saying you have to choose my favorite over your favorite every time. Every-other-time would be just fine!
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt or coarse salt
- 6 tablespoons cold or frozen butter - cut into cubes
- 1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- coarse sugar Demarara, turbinado or raw sugar to sprinkle on top before baking
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Place all dry ingredients (except the coarse sugar) in the bowl of the food processor fit with the metal blade.
- Pulse until flour mixture is well combined.
- Add the butter cubes and pulse until the butter is large bean-sized.
- Add vanilla and almond extracts and pulse 1-2 times.
- Add cream and pulse again until the dough just begins to form. The dough should be shaggy and sandy.
- Place the dough on a clean work surface and press it gently together into an oval shape. Handle it as little as possible – the dough should barely hold together and sill be slightly sticky.
- Lightly flour a rolling pin then roll the dough to an ½ inch thick.
- Cut into the desired shape – a biscuit cutter, cookie cutter or a jar turned upside down work well.
- Place the shortcakes on the prepared baking sheets.
- Brush each shortcake with a thin layer of milk.
- Sprinkle with coarse, raw sugar.
- Bake at 425F 14-16 minutes or until golden brown.
- The shortcake should be golden and slightly firm to the touch and should feel a little crispy but not too hard.
- Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool completely before serving.
- See notes for storing and/or freezing.
Perfect Shortcakes can be kept in an airtight container up to 3 days.
They can also be frozen in an airtight freezer container for later use, but I recommend letting them thaw covered and in the same container in which they were frozen. When ready to serve, reheat the shortcake in a preheated 400F oven for 3-5 minutes.
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LindaPerfect combination of peaches, shortcake and all the good stuff...it looks amazing and yummy.
KaterinaMmm, they look so professional and delicious!
SaraPowellI made these shortcakes and my husband (who is an unpaid food critic) said that they were the best that he had ever had. This is a true compliment to this recipe. I will be making again and again.