With all of the picnic blankets and coolers stowed away, the fireworks and sparklers just a memory, and the swimsuits dripping dry, it’s tempting to file all of those delicious holiday recipes away on Pinterest. The summer is just heating up though! We can use all of those picnic dishes throughout the summer and really take advantage of the delicious summer produce that is now easily available in farmer’s markets throughout the country.
This year, I brought a delicious Summer Shortcake to a friend’s backyard cookout. I ended up eating a few servings myself! I love fresh berries and eat them for breakfast every morning. Not only are they tasty, but they are filled with antioxidants and vitamins that balance out some of the not-so-nice effects of summer like sun damage. I also use organic fair trade cane sugar, organic flour, and hormone-free organic cream and eggs. Don’t get me wrong, sweets like these are not on anyone’s “healthy eating” list, but any time I indulge, I like to stick to just a few natural ingredients. This recipe for Summer Shortcake is easy and delicious and makes it a good choice for any backyard celebration.
(Makes 12 mini shortcakes)
3 Cups self-rising flour (or substitute with: 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
4 ounces unsalted butter (cold) (or substitute 4 ounces Earth Balance Buttery Sticks)
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk (cold)
1 egg yolk
1 pint fresh strawberries, washed, drained, stemmed, and sliced
1 pint fresh blueberries, washed, and drained
1/3 cup sugar
Juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For whipped cream:
4 tablespoons sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon strawberry jam*
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour (or the flour substitute recipe), baking powder, and salt with a wire whisk. Whisk in the sugar. Cut butter into bits and work it into the dry ingredients with fingertips, until mixture resembles coarse meal.
2. Gradually add 1 cup milk and mix. Knead lightly by hand to make a slightly smooth dough. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 20 minutes.
3. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line muffin tins with liners. Make small balls out of the dough and place in muffin tins. Beat the egg yolk with the remaining milk and brush on the scones. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until risen slightly and golden brown. Toothpick should come out clean.
4. Allow shortcakes to cool on wire rack.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the strawberries, blueberries, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice together. Cover bowl and let rest in fridge for 10-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
1. Place metal mixing bowl with a metal whisk into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Place the sugar and vanilla in the mixing bowl. Add the whipping cream and jam. Whisk just until the cream reaches stiff peaks. Store in an airtight container for up to 10 hours. When ready to use, rewhisk for 10 to 15 seconds.
* A trick I learned from a cooking show when I lived in Japan. The pectin in the jam helps the whipping go more quickly and gives the whipped cream prettier, more stable peaks.
Combine the shortcake, topping, and whipped cream. Enjoy!
There you go! A perfect recipe for any summer picnic or BBQ.
What’s your favorite picnic recipe? How do you keep your summer treats natural and nutritious? Feel free to share any of your “secret” tricks for making your recipes go more quickly!
For more tips, tricks, links, and advice, head over to my Pinterest board! You can also follow me on Twitter!