4th of July Shortcakes

Cookbook author, Zoe Francois, gets us ready for the 4th of July holiday with the perfect sweet treat.

4th of July Shortcakes

Zoë François

Flaky Biscuits

1 1/2 cups (215g) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (80g) cake flour
3 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup buttermilk

Making biscuits:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry dough blender and cutteror by using your hands. If you use your hands, just be sure not to over work the butter or you may make it soft. If this happens, refrigerate the flour/butter mixture until the butter solidifies again. You should have very small pea sized pieces of butter still in tact.
  4. Add the buttermilk and stir together. The dough will look a bit shaggy, but should no longer have dry powdery flour and it shouldn’t be too wet either. If you need a few more drops of liquid, add it sparingly, you don’t want the dough to be too soft.
  5. Pour the shaggy dough onto the work surface and fold the dough over on itself a few times using a pastry scraper. This will form a more cohesive dough, but won’t melt the butter.
  6. Lightly flour the surface and roll the dough out to 1/4-inch rectangle. Try to keep it as clean a rectangle as possible, but don’t worry if the edges are a bit scruffy.
  7. Now fold the dough into thirds using your pastry scraper. And again, so it is like a letter.
  8. Now use a biscuit cutterto cut out the dough. Gently press together any scraps and use them to make more biscuits. Be careful not to over work these scraps or they will end up tough.
  9. Place the biscuits on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Make sure they have enough space to expand slightly in the oven. They will grow up more than out, so they can be placed fairly close.
  10. Bake for about 15 minutes or until they are golden brown on top.

Berry Salsa

1½ cups (200g) diced strawberries
1 cup (123g) blueberries
½ cup (54g) brown sugar
Jalapeño pepper, finely chopped (as much or as little as you like)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon tequila (optional)
Zest of half lime

Making Salsa:

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and allow to sit for at least an hour, until the sugar has dissolved. Can be made a day ahead.

Whipping Cream

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar, plus more for top of shortcakes

To assemble the shortcakes:

Slice open the flaky biscuits. Spoon the salsa onto the biscuit and top with whipped cream.

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