You’ve heard the saying, “looks can be deceiving?” Well, if you have ever seen a shortcake, you might have mistaken it for an actual biscuit. No? Just the Food Monster? Okay.
Although the mis-identification was heeeee-larious, it was disturbing. I couldn’t fully grasp WHY the Food Monster would think biscuits went with a pot bubbling over with homemade bolognese sauce (fancy Italian name for meat sauce) and noodles. However, after a while of staring at my beautifully crafted orange zest shortcakes, I fully understood why the Food Monster got it wrong – THEY REALLY DO LOOK LIKE BISCUITS! Ironically enough, many people refer to these shortcakes as, “biscuits” and consider them “the old fashioned version” of modern day strawberry shortcake. In all fairness, they tend to taste like biscuits too, but a sweetened version, hence “cake” in the name. Please be mindful that, on no days of any weeks can you tell someone that something is a cake and it not be sweet- you might start a riot.
These Orange Zest Shortcakes come together fairly easily and fairly quickly. Also, the choices of fruit are endless. I opted for blackberries and strawberries with a homemade whipped cream. Food Monster described the whipped cream as, “velvety.” He went on to say the “biscuit” was “phenomenal” and he “could have eaten it by itself without the berries or the whipped cream.” THAT is a mouthful!
Orange Zest Shortcakes with Berries
Yields: 8 Servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
For the “Biscuits”
- 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 2 Tbsp Baking Powder
- 3 Tbsp Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 1/2 stick Cold Butter (3/4 Cup), cut into pieces
- 1 1/4 Cup Buttermilk
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Medium Orange, zest
- Add flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt to a large bowl. Add butter pieces and use a pastry cutter (or your hands) to work the mixture until butter is completely cut into the flour mixture. Add orange zest to flour mixture and give it a hearty stir.
- Add vanilla extract to buttermilk. While stirring, drizzle in the buttermilk until dough just comes together and is no longer crumbly.
- Use a lightly sprayed 1/4 measuring cup to scoop and drop shortcakes on a baking sheet lined with lightly greased parchment paper. Re-grease the measuring cup after about 4 drops. Make sure the shortcakes are not touching, as they need room to expand. It might take more than one baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside and allow to cool completely.
For the Berries
- 2 Pints Mixed Berries (sliced strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries)
- 1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 Medium Orange, zest and juice
- If using strawberries, slice the berries. Mix with other berries.
- Sprinkle with sugar, then add orange zest and juice. Stir and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes, so that syrup has time to form. Not only does the zest add great flavor, it adds a nice pop of color.
For the Whipped Cream
- 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 3 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
- Ice Cold Mixing Bowl and Whisk
- Place mixing bowl and whisk in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before mixing. This will help the mixture achieve the ideal consistency. Do not remove the bowl and whisk until you are ready to make the whipped cream.
- Pour all ingredients into bowl and whisk until the mixture becomes thick, about 5-7 minutes. You’re looking for the “velvety” and fluffy texture, so don’t allow it to become too firm. I added orange zest to the whipped cream with the other ingredients.
- The ingredients might not look like a lot, but once air is whipped into the cream, it will double in size.
You can serve these sliced and topped with berries and whipped cream, like a sandwich, or just place berries and whipped cream on top. Either way, you won’t be sorry, regardless if it’s classified as a biscuit or a cake.
If you’re feeling experimental, you might try substituting lemon zest or lime zest for the orange zest in each of these yummy mixtures. With the addition of different zest, each mixture will take on a different citrus flavor profile.
Recipe inspired by Ree Drummond, but we have made it our own!
© 2016 Biscuits & Savvy