Easy peach shortcake: Slice fruit, top a
biscuit half, add whipped cream. Photo
Sweet summer berries and stone fruits beg to be turned into shortcake. It requires only three ingredients: the fruit of choice, whipped cream and the biscuit or other base.
In the good old days in the U.S., strawberry shortcake parties were held as celebrations of the summer fruit harvest. This tradition is still observed in some parts of the country on June 14th, which is Strawberry Shortcake Day.
The original shortcake concept, from the U.K., uses a slightly sweetened baking soda or baking powder biscuit or scone. Split in half, the base is piled with fruit and whipped cream, then topped with the other half, often with more fruit and whipped cream on top.
And just to confirm: Shortcake isn’t cake. It’s a dry biscuit in the American sense: a crumbly bread that has been leavened with baking powder or baking soda.
As the concept evolved, the biscuit was replace by everything from sponge cakes to corn muffins. Modern cookies are also switching out the whipped cream.
If you don’t have to bake the biscuits, this is a pretty easy recipe to assemble. There’s a shortcake biscuit recipe below, but other choices include:
For The Biscuit
Angel food cake
Brioche, lightly toasted (orange brioche is even better)
Buttermilk refrigerator biscuits (sprinkle with sugar before baking)
Muffin or un-iced cupcake
Sponge cake (some stores carry individual sponge cakes, four-inch circles with a well for the fruit)
Sweet rolls, lightly toasted with a sprinkle of sugar (look for King’s Hawaiian)
For The Whipped Cream
Crème fraîche (buy it or make it with this recipe)
Flavored whipped cream—lavender or spice, for example (recipes)
Ice cream/frozen yogurt
Mascarpone (you can make your own with this recipe)
We intentionally omitted Cool Whip imitation whipped cream. Many people love it, but we can’t get past the ingredients, which include hydrogenated vegetable oil and high fructose corn syrup.